When: Sat., Aug. 22, 7 p.m. 2015
It’s almost weird to say, but a legit thrash-metal track shouldn’t only be straight-ahead nonstop full-throttle go go go. Twists and detours in the forms of double kick-rolling breakdowns with victorious, gleaming dueling solos and split-second pauses atop split-millisecond pauses actually ramp up the thrash quotient, because those quick releases make the next hammering down of the adrenaline needle all the more jarring. The Canton, Michigan, metal brigadiers in Battlecross got it down pat on their new Rise to Power (Metal Blade). Topped off by the demonic snarl of front man Kyle Gunther—which at its shriekiest isn’t far off from what Gargamel would sound like with his hair on fire—the album rip-roars along with crisp production that picks up every hot guitar squeal and every strike of the stick during the warp-speed drum rolls. For instance, one of Rise to Power’s cuts, “The Climb” bursts open with Gatling-gun-like drumming as it alternates between a hypergallop and a pummeling blastbeat—it eventually takes a nice deep breath of supersolos that sound like lasers being shot through space before its next all-out shred. And when the acoustic-guitar intro opens the next track, “Blood & Lies”—another pretty perfect metal trope—you know it’s only a matter of time before the Battlecross comes down on your neck like the blade of a guillotine.
Price: $14, $12 in advance