Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Pursuit of Honor - Battlecross - 2011
I don't know much at all about Battlecross but understand Pursuit of Honor is, more or less, a revamped new-and-improved version of their 2010 independent debut, Push Pull Destroy. I'm tempted to track down the original just for the sake of comparison and, above all, to add more Battlecross to my library. This is aggressive, groovy, death-flavored thrash with an undeniable melodic undercurrent - all complete with a nimble and dominant bass, courtesy of Don Slater, that holds its own with the stellar guitars of Tony Asta and Hiran Deraniyagala. Kyle Gunther's growled/screamed vocals come straight from the Swedish School of Death Vocal and balance well with the band's sound, all anchored to the extreme percussion of Mike Kreger (check out Ian Pfister's blog for a great interview with the rhythm section).
Pursuit of Honor succeeds as a great proper debut and a cohesive album with lots of high points. It may be a bit too cohesive, in fact, as, despite all my notes and multiple facets of each song I really, really enjoy; the little bass outro in "Push Pull Destroy," the riff dominating "Kaleb," the I was sent to make a point... vocals smack dab in the middle of "Deception," "Man of Stone"'s drums - there aren't necessarily any pullaway individual tracks that all-out distinguish themselves from the rest of the content. But when it's all good how can that be bad? It's not, by any means. While Pursuit of Honor is great, I am hoping that the follow-up will build upon the same foundation with a little more risk-taking, resulting in higher highs and an all-out classic record. While Pursuit of Honor is not in the same class with Havok's Time is Up, it is cut from similar cloth and exciting in the same manner, acknowledging and paying homage to classic influences while forging an exciting sound very much in the present.