I suppose I should start this one off by saying that this isn’t really an album review. It’s more like a plea bargain aimed at the old school metal purists who think poorly of Battlecross. To put it mildly, there’s a ton of obvious old school metal influence on BX’s 3rd effort, Rise To Power. That being said, I’m a little confused by their (or possibly Metalblade’s) decision to release “Not Your Slave” as the debut single for it. That track in particular is about 75 % breakdown. Granted, there are other tracks like “Bound by Fear” that have some chugs here and there as well, but I’d say Rise To Power is about 85 % hair metal with traditional Gumby (Kyle Gunther) vocals. It’s really nostalgic stuff! Not to mention, Don Slater (bass) has more of a presence on this record. He’s always been a killer bassist, but he’s definitely cranked up in this latest series of Battlecross mixes.
These 10 new BX tunes contain Anthrax style metal riffs, Iron Maiden style licks, Motley Crue style leads, then all that signature Battlecross goodness as the icing on top. They’ve really outdone their previous 2 full lengths with layering, creativity and personality (if you will). Rise To Power will remind you of dozens of classic metal albums along the way, part for part, but at the same time, there really aren’t too many bands that sound like Battlecross. You can say that this riff or that lead sounds like this band or that band, but when it’s all rolled together, you get that uncanny BX sound.
I’d recommend this album to just about any metalhead with respect for any widely respected album from the ’80s through the 2000s. I guess that’s really all I have to say about it. We at ‘The Metal’ have been very excited for this release (in case you couldn’t tell) and we weren’t disappointed in the slightest bit once we finally heard every last note.
If you’re from the Buffalo/Rochester area, we encourage you to pay Battlecross a visit at The Montage Music Hall on September 18th with Gwar and Butcher Babies, or at Town Ballroom on November 7th with Gwar and Born of Osiris! We’ll leave you now with the official video for the 3rd track on Rise To Power, “Absence”: