Like in those nightmares where however much you fight and try to escape you get nowhere and are stuck in front of the impending dark threat, Manifest Decimation the debut album from US metallers Power Trip is an insatiable and unrelenting predator which just keeps coming with no chance of evasion. A riff built tsunami of rapacious energy and carnivorous hunger, the album is an incessant juggernaut of force and attitude but unlike those unwanted dreams this is one consuming ravage you will want to return again and again.
Dallas-based Power Trip, create a tempest of spiteful intensity through an invigorating fusion of thrash and hardcore, their crossover maelstrom, certainly on the album, unleashed through a collection of tracks which prey and drag the senses from their perch like a pack of rabid wolves. The past five years since the release of their impressive early demo of 2008 has seen the band as hungry as their sound in gigging, with other striking releases and splits alongside. The promo accompanying the album declared the band as ‘Channelling the old-school energy of legendary acts like Cro-Mags, Nuclear Assault and Leeway through modern thrash warfare,’ a description which tells you all you need to know about their sound though there are other references you could offer. Recorded with Arthur Rizk and Daniel Schmuck and produced, mixed, and mastered by Rizk, the Southern Lord released Manifest Decimation is eight tracks of muscular mayhem honed into a tornado of passion and aggression all thrash and hardcore/punk fans will devour greedily.
Opening with the title track, Manifest Decimation initially breeds an emerging ambience which scrubs and ignites the ear before swooping from within its sonic midst with massive boned rhythms from drummer Chris Ulsh and equally heavily weighted slow to explode riffs from guitarists Blake Ibanez and Nick Stewart stalked step by step by the intimidating bass sound of Chris Whetzel. With a demon borne spiteful cry from vocalist Riley Gale the track settles into a rabid and intense attack, energy searing the air and riffs echoing and stalking within the drum assault like cavern bone vultures. Across its destructive confrontation though there are flames combining sonic heat and melodic acid for compelling inventive shards but ultimately the implacable growl of riffs steers song and passions.
Both the following Heretic’s Fork and Conditioned To Death continue and elevate the rabid onslaught, the first with thrash intent and immovable riffs eroding the ear and beyond to again uncompromising incessancy and the second bleeding in from its predecessor through an initially steady gnaw upon its victim before firing up another furnace of thrash and hardcore voracity. In many ways to this point and through to the end the album, it is like one continuous unquenchable piece of savagery, everything flowing in their distinct ways into the next greedy bite of the listener whilst holding an umbrella of uniformal ceaseless riff driven malevolence. This means at times a little work is required to spot the unique aspects of each song but a willing effort such the might of sound and release.
As Murderer’s Row with its growl throated bass intro opens the gate for another senses plundering from riffs and rhythms, realisation dawns that the hollow trait of sound and production is to stay for every song. It provides a resonance and cavernous voice to the record which did take a while to decide upon and for personal tastes is the only thing the album maybe falls down on. To be honest there is nothing wrong with it but it does detract and remove some of the potent malnourished greed which all bestial and voracious metal needs. It does not stop this, and other tracks from nevertheless rioting until full energy is spent in submitting to their impressive demands.
The excellent Crossbreaker and Drown continue the mulish chug fest whilst final songs Power Trip, another exciting and invigorating thrash brawling, and the outstanding The Hammer of Doubt leave a legacy of need to indulge in the violence once again. The closing track, and arguably best on the album though all make a strong claim, is the most animalistic antagonistic fury on the release, its unslakable ravaging of the senses heightened to an intensity and corrosive energy which sucks air from the lungs.
Wrapped in the excellent art of Italian artist Paolo “Madman” Girardi, Manifest Decimation feeds all expectations and hopes placed before it with passion and craft making Power Trip a band set to bring an impacting mark on metal if maybe not with this release but a future one.
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