A relentless hail of speed

Blending groove, thrash and death into a tank of metal, Michigan band Battlecross have unleashed their sophomore effort War Of Will unto the world.

Following on from the impressive debut of 2011’s Pursuit Of Honor, the band’s sound has a slightly more technical feel to it, though they manage to maintain the break-neck speed of its predecessor and remain outside the realm of prog-metal.

‘Force Fed Lies’ leads the invasion with vocalist Kyle ‘Gumby’ Gunther in full howling mode with his unique death-to-screeching tones. ‘Flesh And Bones’ is the next fire in the hole offering a similar relentless hail of speed but breaks it down with a cardinal solo. Galloping onto ‘Never Coming Back’ is where Battlecross enters the groove metal vibe with guitarists Asta and Derangagala almost harmonising their sound via their fingers. It is impossible to sit still to this frenetic wall of sound.

The interchanging range of Gunther’s vocal is definitely more utilised on War Of Will with the growls in both lower and higher ranges set to the maximum in the production. Whether or not this is good thing will depend solely on the individual listener’s tastes. The pronounced volumes come across none more so than on ‘Get Over It’ with the layered break downs combining like tsunami waves across Gunthers tones.

Session drummer for this album was Shannon Lucas (formerly of All That Remains) and he deserves mention here also. The double kicks across the album are relentless with a good example being the fast and furious ‘Beast’.

There are meaty riffs throughout: the aforementioned ‘Beast’, the more interpolated thrash track ‘Ghost Alive’ and ‘The Will to Overcome’. It’s death metal with melody and razor sharp vocals. Ending with a bold crunching cover of Pantera’s ‘Fucking Hostile’ that sends shivers down the spine, Battlecross have again delivered a stellar album. Deserving of more recognition outside of the US, hopefully we’ll see this band reach our shores in future years.

  1. Force Fed Lies
  2. Flesh and Bone
  3. Never Coming Back
  4. My Vaccine
  5. Get Over It
  6. Ghost Alive
  7. Wage a War
  8. The Will to Overcome
  9. Beast
  10.  Never Ending Night
  11. Fucking Hostile