Nightmare Logic - Power Trip
Power Trip, a five piece crossover thrash band from Texas, have garnered a massive and devoted fanbase since the release of their 2013 debut LP, Manifest Decimation. A record that expertly and seamlessly fused the musical components of thrash metal and hardcore punk, Manifest Decimation also managed what few bands of their ilk could achieve, the adoration of both metal-heads and hardcore kids. You are just as likely to catch Power Trip supporting Anthrax as commanding a set at This Is Hardcore.
Image Credit: Straight and Alert Records
Painting: Paolo Girardi
With the release of the eagerly anticipated followup, Nightmare Logic, this success is sure to continue exponentially. The nuts and bolts of what made Manifest Decimation so good are all still there. Power Trip’s exceptional capability to craft catchy, headbanging thrash riffs has not diminished. The band can comfortably play at breakneck speed just as well as they can break it down and groove, with drummer Chris Ulsh’s stripped back playing style (consciously devoid of double bass) and the occasional gang vocal helping what could arguably be classified simply as a thrash album retain that punky edge.
In terms of what separates this record from their debut, vocalist Ryan Gale suggests that “it’s natural progression through regression.” And this rings true in many ways. The song structures are often more cyclical, making use of the holy trinity of pop music writing: the verse, chorus and bridge (often in the form of a righteous breakdown). It goes without saying, though, that none of this sacrifices what makes Power Trip a unique and heavy ass band.
As for the theme, Nightmare Logic, as the title suggests, couldn’t have been released in a more appropriate socio-political climate. In Gale’s own words, “it’s about developing the ‘Nightmare Logic’ to navigate this rapidly changing, totally fucked path of civilisation we’ve found ourselves going down.” Gale’s lyrical style skillfully straddles the seriousness of its subject matter with impetuous disdain, often laden with irony and delivered in a supreme rasp. "Executioner’s Tax - Swing of the Axe" exemplifies this perfectly, and is also probably the best song on the album.
In short, Nightmare Logic is a must-have for fans of both hardcore and metal. The album’s 32 minutes fly by in a whirlwind of galloping chugs and Slayer-esque solos, and the fact that the album begins and ends with the same sample only adds to the compulsion to play this record on repeat.