Heading to http://battlecrossmetal.com will give you some basic facts on the band BATTLECROSS. Consisting of KYLE GUNTHER (vocals), MIKE KREGER (drums), HIRAN DERANIYAGALA (guitar), DON SLATER (bass), and TONY ASTA (guitar) this band from Detroit has taken their blend of extreme, thrash, and technical metal to a genre they like to call BLUE COLLAR THRASH. BATTLECROSS has a never give-up, hardworking approach to metal like the citizens of their home city. It was nice to hear a band so proud of where they come from. A lot of musicians talk about the road and how it’s nice to be home, but very few show the passion for their city like BATTLECROSS does.
ASTA and DERANIYAGALA (greatest name in metal) started the band as long-time friends based on the influences of PANTERA, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, TESTAMENT, GWAR, SEPULTURA, METALLICA, and SLAYER. Using these influences and their hard work approach has gotten them signed by METAL BLADE and in a huge deal have received words of praise from the masters: THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER.
Also to tie into a past article the band has played DIRTFEST and absolutely stole the show with MIKE KREGER being named the drummer of the show by SICK DRUMMER MAGAZINE. I was obviously pretty happy going in with the bands pedigree. Add that to their approach of hating the oversaturated and trend following market and you have a band that I appear to be on the same wave length with.
Looking at a couple of songs will give you and overall impression of what BATTLECROSS is about. We start with PUSH PULL DESTROY and the technical influence is the first thing you hear. These elements are very well done and lead into some strained vocals that blend perfectly with deep growls. Every pace change runs right into some more technical guitar work. The mid-point has a great jamming spot that had me enjoying the song most at that point.
More after the warp:
BETTER OF DEAD once again has that “tech” sound from the guitars that becomes a very consistent theme throughout the album. The pace of this song is a bit slower, but it’s a good example of the blistering drums that are often hidden behind the guitar work. This was my favourite track because the vocals were harsher and heavier and the sound was very full with all instruments coming across on their own. Although there is very little flavour or change in the song it certainly falls in the extreme category.
I’m only looking at two songs because unfortunately that is the most diversity I could find. For my personal taste that is something I look for in all metal releases. For those of you that like your death metal to be death laden then BATTLE CROSS’s PURSUIT OF HONOUR is going to be a must own for you.
Although this may be a sound I have heard before I give the band complete credit for having a plan and sticking to it. Not only did they stick to it, but they executed that plan seamlessly. I look forward to a release from them with that diversity I crave because the talent and passion is certainly there.
7.5 OUT OF 10 HORNS
Show me your horns,
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