Album Review: Battlecross – War of Will
Posted by Reggie
For such a young band, Battlecross has certainly seen its share of band members come and go. The latest being drummer Mike Kreger who was around to see the band rise out of the ashes of obscurity to established thrash metal band. Filling in that role, at least for touring, is Kevin Talley who has played with…just about every band out there at one time or another. Talley did not record the new drum tracks; Shannon Lucas formerly of All That Remains and The Black Dahlia Murder filled in while in the studio. War of Will is their third studio album, their second with Metal Blade Records. To put the bottom line up front, Battelcross gives me hope that the thrash torch will be carried long into the future as this new breed of American Thrash surges.
Let’s start with the negative because there is really only one thing to discuss. At 37 minutes, War of Will is a quick album. Perhaps it’s just me, but it seems like the length of albums is shortening these days. Then again, as I think about some old Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer albums…they weren’t that long either, but they packed a hell of a punch. Though I would like to hear a solid 45 minutes, I am not going to let a few minutes detract from an overall solid album. Quality is more important that quantity. Bt, if it’s short, why not throw a cover song in there?
More important than duration is dominance. War of Will achieves that with angry riffs, melodic solos, gritty vocals, and aggressive drums. It makes for a good recipe for thrash with some embedded metalcore in the vein of DevilDriver and Trivium (no clean vocals though). After several plays, I have yet to find any flaws with this album. From beginning to end, there is no compromise and what you get it is a brutal concoction of new-age thrash which isn’t that much different from the way the old guys did it.
Battlecross could have easily included pretty clean vocals for all their choruses like so many other bands do nowadays. Not that I have anything against that style, but I like the fact that they stayed away from what is popular to do their own thing and remain a driving force in as the next generation thrash band.
Release Date: 5 July 2013
Record Label: Metal Blade
Nationality: United States (Michigan)
Prior albums: Push, Pull, Destroy (Self-released) 2010; Pursuit of Honor 2011