My brain is still trying to process that Nightmare Logic is only Power Trip’s second full length album. While there have been splits and EPs before and after their strong debut, Manifest Decimation (both Southern Lord), the bite and urgency on Nightmare Logic would suggest a more aged group of musicians. On LP number 2, these Texas bad dudes have distilled Metallic Hardcore and Thrash in particular to their purest forms in just under 33 minutes.
Sure, that kind of high praise is going to earn Power Trip legions of haters (i.e. morons). I can already imagine the tweets and Facebook posts lambasting Nightmare Logic and dismissing it as nothing more than “thrash rehash” or “not as good as the real thing.” But, to get locked into that argument is to miss the point; there is an art to making familiar sounds vital again.
Take ‘Soul Sacrifice,’ which opens the proceedings with sandpaper riffs that recall Metallica’s ‘Disposable Heroes’ and Slayer’s ‘Criminally Insane.’ The downtempo crunch suddenly gives way to a much livelier cadence and begins assaulting the listener with the first of many Kerry King style whammy dives to come. ‘Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)’ downshifts in terms of speed, but finds the mid-tempo thrash sweet spot not like anyone really has since Sepultura’s ‘Inner Self.’ Then ‘Ruination’ teaches us that we’ve all really wanted the sonic offspring of Dark Angel and Cro-Mags.
And while you’re still coming to your senses, Power Trip has one more parting gift in the form of ‘Crucifixation.’ Much like ‘Damage, Inc.’ or ‘Dyers Eve,’ ‘Crucifixation’ is what happens when technical finesse collides face first with greasy, unchecked speed. There are enough riffs jammed into that 5 minute frame to power half of a Trivium record.
I don’t want to go too long in this review as it’ll just become redundant. Nightmare Logic is not unlike Integrity’s Systems Overload (Victory) in how it makes Thrash and Hardcore both vigorous and dangerous again.