Remember the good old days when thrash spoke to every unhappy degenerate forced to take a piss as Big Brother stood by watching? It was a time when metalheads rose to the occasion, spoke to people better than even our greatest orators, and made a stand against crooked politicians. It was a time when being a rebel stood for something and tearing each other apart in circle pits and walls-of-death was the greatest form of therapy. OK, so that’s not exactly how many remembered the ’80s thrash craze. But, bands like Anthrax, Exodus, Metallica, and Testament spoke to at least one pissed-off kid that used them to fuel his anger. I was that pissed-off kid, even though I didn’t know what I was so pissed off about. Not to mention I didn’t have any reason to be. But, goddammit, I was part of the movement. Even if I had no idea what the fuck that meant either. I guess you just had to be there. And, if you weren’t, feel free to go back to your shoegazing while the rest of the boys and I get on a Power Trip.

I’ll be honest with you, thrash is the reason I picked up the guitar, stood before a mic, and threw angry saliva at the lone spectator at the foot of the stage. Thrash is why I’m a metalhead and thrash is why I’m here before you. Sure, my tastes have evolved quite a bit since those pimple-faced days, but a monster like Power Trip brings the memories flooding back. Yes, Power Trip reminds me of the good ole days, which means it’s a re-/neo-/retro-thrash outfit that does it the way it’s always been. But, man, they do it well. And, with Nightmare Logic, they’ve done it better than they’ve ever done it before.

For one, Riley Gale’s vocals are a harsher rendition of the Bloodclot (Cro-Mags)/Killian (Vio-lence) approach he took on their debut album, Manifest Decimation. It’s a perfect fit to the barrage of chugging, fast-picked guitars that fill this thirty-minute record from beginning to end. And the beginning is where, well… we begin. “Soul Sacrifice” is a neck-snapping number that starts from nothing, huffing and puffing harder than the world’s largest diesel engine. It even sports a build that climaxes into “Raining Blood” proportions. But Nightmare Logic doesn’t stop here. The conclusion to “Soul Sacrifice” is only the beginning of “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe).” If you’ve heard the debut album from these Texas boys, I know you’ll remember “Crossbreaker.” “Executioner’s Tax” is that song’s illegitimate step-child. Do you want a song that charges the tallest castle walls on the planet (no matter the futility) and comes at you like a possessed, axe-wielding ape? Well, this is it. “Swing of the axe!” will be stuck in your head for a week.

For memorability, the title track, “Ruination,” and “Crucifixation” are on par with the previous two. Comparing extremes, the three-minute, testicle-stomping “Ruination” does its damnedest to match wits with the five-minute closer, “Crucifixation.” What the former lacks in time, it makes up for in catchiness—almost to the level of “Executioner’s Tax.” The closer is the lengthiest on the album, but the time it has for riff changes gives it a memorability “Ruination” can never have. In comparison to these tracks, “Nightmare Logic” and “If Not Us Then Who” fall a touch short, but what makes them work are the vocals. The riffs are still there, but Gale’s venom and his verse arrangements give them the kind of fuel to propel space shuttles.

As you can probably guess, I love this damn album. Yes, “love.” Nope, I didn’t give it a 4.0/5.0, but I still love it. Fucking deal with it. I have to admit I’m a little biased by the fun Power Trip and I had back at the Southwest Terror Fest, but this album is nothing more than in-your-face rethrash. It has an energy few retro-thrash bands are capable of capturing and I put it up there with the Havoks and Warbringers of the world. In the end, this is an enjoyable listen that smashes the band’s previous release into oblivion. It’ll also smash your eardrums into your skull. If you’re one of those people that hates thrash, I’m sure you can find some metalcore to appease your sad hearts. For all the thrashers of the world, you oughta have fun with this one.

Rating: Good!
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 128 kbps mp3
Label: Southern Lord Recordings
Releases Worldwide: February 24th, 2017

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  • So chunky!

    • Excentric_13073

      Hits me right in the groove-nads.

  • Still savage thrashy goodness, and they dialed back the reverb a tiny bit. :) Can’t fucking wait for this one.

  • sir_c

    this must be truly ripping when they play it live. I like the rawness of this one. Retro style done well.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      It is!

      • sir_c

        affirmative, even though the production is a but, uhm, loud.

        Speaking about nice finds, anybody heard Ordos’ album The house of the dead? I happened to come across it, but it is just too awesome to let it go by unnoticed.

        • Ta2dlam

          Just checked out that Ordos and it’s bad ass! It has a sweet intro and then the chanting-ish starts seemingly out of nowhere. Thanks for the suggestion.

        • Averycoolusername

          Old post, I know, but thanks for the recomendation. I’m enjoying this album a lot

  • Bas

    I have to listen to this! Great review, i completely (think I) understand your attitude towards this album. Same history with thrash here (age thing i guess).

  • Innit Bartender

    You get Paolo Girardi to paint your cover, and then you write the title in Helvetica Italic. *Facepalm*

    • sir_c

      could’ve been Papyrus. Or Comic Sans, godforbid

    • Joshua Walker

      Should have used Wingdings.

    • Tom Busler

      I think that the Helvetica Italic has a certain je ne sais quoi that is evocative of the era this thrash references. It looks like it could’ve been on a mid-80s ‘zine. For that alone, stellar choice. I dig it.

      • Innit Bartender

        I thought about that too. Voluntarily bad lettering. Maybe with an Helv Black would have worked, but even that is too professional, if you wanna go for bad, you have to go all the way, like they did. But still, I’m such a Maestro Girardi fanboi that I cannot condone this. Sorry.

    • Poop King
  • brutal_sushi

    LOVED that embedded track! Man this year has been pretty damn good across different genres.

  • Reese Burns

    I’ve been listening to this for a while. Solid 3.5 for me. Definitely worth hearing!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      It almost made 3.5 for me.

      • You may check Iron Reagan too then

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          I have. Like then just fine, but not their new one.

  • Treble Yell

    Better check this out. How much of a crutch is the DR5, Doc?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      It hurts, but it’s doable.

      • Treble Yell

        Hmmmm, might be better played back through speakers than my headphones.

        • Brian

          If that DR5 is putting you off then get your lugs around the previous album, ‘Manifest Decimation’. Lovely sound and surprisingly un-bricked. Almost like listening to Ride the Lightning at times! And the riffs! THE RIFFS! Try to NOT bang your head to the ending of ‘Heretic’s Fork’, it’s impossible!

  • contenderizer

    “I’ll be honest with you, thrash is the reason I picked up the guitar, stood before a mic, and threw angry saliva at the lone spectator at the foot of the stage. Thrash is why I’m a metalhead and thrash is why I’m here before you.”

    Real talk. But fuck that rating. 4.0

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I’m OK with that. Glad you’re digging the shit out of these guys.

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        Only just realised how weird “digging the shit out of these guys” is of a phrase when taken literally.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Hahahaha shit…

  • Monsterth Goatom

    “… a possessed, axe-wielding ape”. Reading between the lines, I sense you’re haunted by a past encounter with a certain reviewer.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier


      • He takes the editing process way too personally.

  • The Unicorn


  • Name’s Dalton

    This review got me so fired up that I went immediately to Bandcamp and pre-ordered this album.

  • defjam

    The first two paragraphs could have been describing me (minus the evolution bit). Lovely review, a careful listen is due.

  • BlackSoots

    Metal Thrashing Nice! Good review doctor.

  • Embedded track sounds like some sort of chuggy, Exodus/Hallow’s Eve bastard child. WIll definitely give this one a spin.

    • I love me some Hallow’s Eve. Highly underrated band.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    On board!

  • Felix Granar

    Executioner’s Tax, groove of the year, brings blacklist-like tears to my eyes.

  • Eduardo Berton

    These guys are on fire. Definitely one of my fav.

  • Dudeguy Jones

    So riff!! Such metal!!