Power Trip - Nightmare Logic (Cover Artwork)

Power Trip

Nightmare Logic (2017)

Southern lord

Power Trip, Dallas, Texas’s biggest trashers, are back with Nightmare Logic on Southern Lord Records. For those who may not be familiar, Power Trip have been the flagship crossover thrash band for a quite a few years now. They manage to complete the punk-metal-hardcore trinity in such a way that their music feels genuine to all three genres. With Nightmare Logic, they continue their push forward as the torchbearers of genre-bending thrash.

The album’s second track, “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe),” is exemplary of the band’s aggressive but measured style. The guitars and drums chug along, creating a grooving but heavy beat that allows for the vocals to take center stage. The vocals don’t force the pace of the song to speed up, rather they draw on the chugging beat to create some great sing-along choruses. For me, this is the record’s strongest song. That might be a bit biased as I personally tend towards the chugga-chugga riffs that balance what I hope for out of a thrashy hardcore band. The song is heavy and grooving and angry as all get out. But Power Trip take that a step further by turning those riffs into a catchy progression that will leave more traditional metal aficionados happy as well.

“Ruination” is one of the heavier songs on the record, and draws similarly on a surprisingly catch groove. That said, what makes the catchiness surprising is that it is created through colossally heavy guitar riffs throughout. This song also stands out because it spotlights Riley’s uber-aggressive vocals. His is a style that draws on what one would expect out of a traditionally heavy hardcore band, growling and raspy and boiling with angst. But he manages to lift his range here and there, and in appropriate spots, to keep the song cohesive and inventive.

For those looking for the purist in Power Trip’s thrash crossover styling, “Firing Squad” should more than satiate. The song opens at break-neck speed and blasts through speed metal riffage and thrashy leads from start to finish. The drums keep an ungodly fast pace before slowing into a mid-temp breakdown that will get horns up and heads banging. A similar pattern is to be found in the album’s title track as well.

From beginning to end, Nightmare Logic pushes the listener to follow along at a frantic and kinetic pace. The energy captured on this record is simply undeniable. While Power Trip certainly are reinventing the thrash-laden wheel set forth by DRI or Megadeth, they have given that wheel new life some twenty years after those bands began to decline. And Nightmare Logic is universally heavy, surprisingly catchy, utterly aggressive and absolutely worth picking up.