Label: Metal Blade
Battlecross are extremely likeable guys, remaining ever so humble despite a meteoric rise to critical acclaim with 2011’s Pursuit of Honor—and better for it—because their follow-up, War of Will, makes standing out in a year of titanic metal releases look easy. The transit from traditional thrash to blazing harmony on the album’s opener, “Force Fed Lies,” leaves one thing abundantly clear: this American death metal band is in bed with melody (touring with melodeath pioneers, In Flames, may cause such an affair). Frontman Kyle Gunther has cranked up his vocal bombardment to eleven: wailing the most deceased of death growls (“My Vaccine”); often switching to razor shrieks that sound like vocal cord surgery in the making (on “Flesh & Bone,” Gunther screams in a manner nostalgic of M. Shadows’ Waking The Fallen days). The vocal contrast is paralleled by instrumentals executed with a classicist confidence—from old school’ grooves (“Beast”) to epic, melodic rhythm (“Wage a War”) to being technical but not too showy about it (“Get Over It”). Metallic friction should always be so jolting. @MattCrane
War of Will is available for pre-order today.
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