Battlecross – Rise To Power


This thrash band from Michigan must have known that a third album for a big record company is important, a kind of make it or break it release. Kyle Gunther is the vocalist in the band and he has a voice that easily changes from harsh thrash into guttural death vocals. The musicians play very tight and from the first until the last song, you sit on the edge of your seat.

The music is a mix of thrash and death with some NWOBHM twists – and sometimes a real roller coaster. The heavy metal influences you find back in the melodic guitar pieces and the riffs used in a few songs. Opener “Scars” is a heavy thrash granate with a certain kind of groove. “Not Your Slave” tops the first song and is a mix of fast and mid-tempo pieces with grunting vocals in Gorefest style combined with thrash in Exodus tempos. “Absence” is fast from start to finish with Kyle barking and grunting like a mad dog with its tail on fire. In “Spoiled” the NWOBHM influence really catches the eye, the opening riff could have been from Saxon or Maiden in the early eighties. In “The Climb” the band almost flies through the sound barrier and Kyle’s harsh and grunting voice is interweaved. The melodic guitar pieces give some rest in the brutal chaos.


“Blood & Lies” is a bit more structured and balanced thrash song, after that “Bound By Fear” takes over and that track has a kind of Devildriver vibe combined with deathcore elements. In “Despised”, the NWOBHM influences are back again in form of melodic guitar riffs and solos. “Shackles” follows in the same kind of style. Then the longest track (4:09) starts with an acoustic intro after which the song opens in Maiden style and then leads us through all the different styles we already enjoyed in the other songs on the album.

Mix Exodus, Slayer, The Black Dahlia Murder, Devildriver and add a portion of NWOBHM to it and you have an idea of what to expect.


01. Scars
02. Not Your Slave
03. Absence
04. Spoiled
05. The Climb
06. Blood & Lies
07. Bound By Fear
08. Despised
09. Shackles
10. The Path

Playing time: 35:00

Release date: 21 August, 2015

Label: Metal Blade Records


Reinier de Vries
About Reinier de Vries 383 Articles
Once a metal head, always a metalhead. My parents thought it would only be a period, but they were wrong. I quit to explain the beauty of metal music to others that are not into metal, because it is something you can't tell in words... It is like explaining to a teetotaller why a cold beer is so nice on a hot day... I started with bands like Accept, Metal Church, Iron Maiden and Metallica in the eighties and I think I will still listen to them when I'm stone deaf and old...

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