The Asian Invasion is here and if you know me at all, I'm the first guy in line to support thrash metal. It's my sub-genre of choice in the metal world and I'm constantly searching for the next great thrash band. Well folks, I've found them. Metal Blade has once again hit it out of the park when they discovered Battlecross from Michigan.
"War of Will" is their second effort under the Metal Blade banner after 2011's "Pursuit of Honor." With the current crop of excellent metal bands out there putting out great release after another, Battlecross has done something special to make their newest album really stand out. Almost every track completely explodes out of the gate and it's rather refreshing to see a young and up and coming band not hold anything back. Although they do put much more melodies into their choruses as opposed to the last record, the trademark stamp of Battlecross is purely evident.
'Force Fed Lies' is the very first track and it hits you like a Mack truck. Kyle "Gumby" Gunther's performance on vocals are great as his highs and lows are, no doubt, on point. Hiran Deraniyagala and Tony Asta's pure riffage are particularly relentless on tracks like 'Flesh and Bone', 'Never Coming Back', 'Get Over It' and 'Beast.'
Michael Kreger unfortunately left the band due to personal reasons and it was announced that Kevin Talley of Six Feet Under will be the touring drummer. Battlecross landed some big time gigs this year like being apart of not only Metallica's Orion Music and More but also having a spot on the Rockstar Mayhem Festival.
They enlisted the help of former All That Remains and The Black Dahlia Murder drummer Shannon Lucas to be the session master. Master he was as it's quite apparent they had a metal heavyweight behind the kit. His skills are damn near untouchable and combine that with the sheer intensity the rest of the band brings, this album is a keeper.
So much has happened for this band in the last couple of years and I'm more than sure that will continue for years to come. This is one band that everyone is buzzing about and I believe they will be the future of thrash for years to come.
July 9 is the release date. Drop everything you're doing that day and go buy "War Of Will." If you're anything like me, you won't be disappointed.