Battlecross – Pursuit Of Honour – Album Review
|Fans Of:||Exodus, Testament, Devildriver|
|Download This:||Push Pull Destroy, Breaking You|
|Genre(s):||Thrash Metal / Tech Metal|
Battlecross are a modern thrash band hailing from the motor city (Detroit). Combining their love for the bay area with influences such as Devildriver and Black Dahlia Murder, Battlecross have just released their Metal Blade debut, Pursuit of Honour.
After a short acoustic interlude (which oddly enough shares its title with the album), Battlecross get right down to business with the lead track from the album ‘Push Pull Destroy’, a heavy 80′s thrash track with techniques and influences from more modern tech death bands. The similarity to modern Exodus tracks throughout Pursuit of Honour is both obvious and very welcomed.
The album ebbs and flows through 11 tracks of technical and complex riffs and old fashioned palm muted chugging. This combination works incredibly well; the complex riffs are technical without going too far outside the thrash mold and the chugging riffs are satisfyingly meaty. Vocalist Kyle “Gumby” Gunther brings to mind former Exodus vocalist Paul Baloff, manages to combine deep growls with controlled high pitched wails.
The level of technical competence of each of the musicians is shown throughout the album, with bassist Don Slater really standing out. His bass passages not only follow the guitarists, but also with solo passages, often spicing up riffs by adding a variation to the guitar lines. In places, I really enjoyed this slightly more elaborate approach to playing the four string; there are places were it didn’t work quite as well.
One slight grumble I have with the otherwise solid production on the album, is that different parts of the drum kit are pushed really wide in to one side of the mix, meaning if you only have one headphone you may, for instance, only hear snare and crash. For some reason this didn’t work for me, but I feel this may be one of those things that is down to personal preference.
Pursuit of Honour is a very welcome addition to what has become a stellar year for bands combining old school thrash with modern influences and production. While there are still a few wrinkles that the band could iron out, this is still a highly enjoyable album that will make you want to dig out your denim trousers and leather jacket, grow your hair past your butt and rock the horns at every unsuspecting old lady who walks past you.
1. Pursuit of Honor
2. Push Pull Destroy
5. Man of Stone
6. Breaking You
9. Better Off Dead