Power Trip – Nightmare Logic (2017)

Every year we are treated to an endless amount of ridiculous lists.  It seems that any individual with the ability to express their opinions is obligated to share their Top 10 or top 20 metal releases that more often than not echo the same three websites.  The bands that enter such lists tend to come in two varieties: veterans rehashing the same ideas in a more streamlined fashion and those who trick their audience via the use of gimmicks and presenting a familiar product with slightly different aesthetics as the next big thing.  In these last two years, speed metal has conquered the number 1 spot of most of these lists.  Last year Vektor’s Terminal Redux ruled the metal lists by far with it’s melody derived from Voivod and the phrasings from Destruction’s Eternal Devastation all held together in long sloppily composed epics… ultimately resulting in an above average album but a strong move for the funderground.  This year, Texans Power Trip succeed in winning the “funderground 2017 award” with their second album Nightmare Logic.  The Speed metal revival movement has finally found its idols to guide it’s path of remaining in the past and offering the most faithful reproduction of late 80s speed/thrash.

Loud scooped guitars and single pedal drum dominate the aural soundscape with the bass rumbling mixed in with the guitars as the vocals glide over the whole sound distinct yet drenched in reverb.  Great care has been taken in making sure this sounds as old school as possible whilst strictly obeying modern listeners expectations.  Rhythm guitars sound genuine at first with that signature bass and treble heavy crunch yet the whole mix is absurdly compressed like any tech death record without the slightest sense of volume dynamics. A huge amount of bass has also been added giving this record a very groove metal sound.  The production demonstrates that either the band or the producer has a good understanding of the recording standards in metal by mixing what people perceive as being speed metal with a metalcore production.

Songs here all represent a duality of bay area rhythmic force coupled with hardcore punk.  None of these ideas are particularly strong since it is very easy to pinpoint the origin of each riff.  Bizarrely for a speed metal record this follows the approach idiotcore kings Lamb of God originally invented with their Pantera and Megadeth worship.  All songs start with a simplistic motif held together by pulsating cadenced single pedal drums and chugging guitar riffs.  An acceleration than occurs signalling the entrance of a groovy Exodus ripoff riff with the vocals accentuating the strong beats.  Eventually we get a chorus which consists of catchy shouts and one of the earlier chugging motifs breaks into either a breakdown that Exhorder rejected or a Dimebag Darrel bluesy solo.  Lyrics are deeply entrenched in the ranting style of hardcore and metal bands of the time. Rather than taking a nihilist or an absurdist vision they show the problems of the world through a very modern liberal lens proposing a solution through violence without proposing a counter-argument.

Concurrently, one of these melodies develop in any form and the songs only communicate through moshpit friendly rythms that are almost interchangeable into any order.  This is Lamb of God/Pantera through the crossover filter that plays less with syncopation and expectations and more with simple variations of a steady beat.  None of the real aggression found in Exhorder and Exodus is present here as there are very few tempo changes (all predictable in the style of Sodom).  There is no transfer of momentum from riff to riff to create tension, no dynamics in composition. Whilst Speed metal is not the music of seamless transitions like the death and black metal that came after it, it is the music where obvious point of interest are highlighted and other parts lead from powerful moments to other equally powerful moments through strong hooks, breakdowns, guitar solos or purely frantic riffs supported by skank beats.  Nightmare Logic is speed metal on surface only with its hardcore melodies, groove metal structure and third rate speed metal riffs.

We are living in an age where the funderground consumes a large amount of albums in a very short period of time and most releases never get more than one listen.  This means that nothing can be digested by these listeners and that inner complexity is undervalued since one cannot immerse themselves completely during the first listen.  Therefore for artists to have the slightest impression on listeners surface aesthetics need to be pushed forward.  Since rhythm is the first aspect of music that we respond to, a clean sounding rhythmically inclined album vaguely reminding us of something that we already know is an easy way to stay in people’s memories.

Power Trip are set to be a financially capable band as tours with Deafheaven and Anthrax have showed.  They will undoubtedly continue in their ascension of playing bigger venues and making more cash but there is no reason to believe that they will try to improve as songwriters since nothing of value is found on Nightmare Logic. This is the time for all Hessians to revisit all their speed metal and crossover records as this retro movement is refusing to die out.  Do listen to early and mid period Destruction since there seem to be more and more clues that the whole scene will shift from plagiarizing the bay area scene to outright copy pasting the tablatures of Destruction and the more melodic Kreator riffs.

RESIST THE HYPE!!!

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34 thoughts on “Power Trip – Nightmare Logic (2017)”

  1. Lucius Vorenus says:

    Hi! This was actually one of the 5 paragraph 900 word comments I write on a daily basis abput how I’m cool and smart and how the site was only good because of the dark legions reviews

    But woah! It looks like my opinion is such an abomination to humanity that it did not even meet the astronomically low standards of this site’s comments section!

    CUT MY LIFE INTO PIECES

  2. HessianMurdererOfBlackDeath says:

    This is a trend.

    No mosh, no core, no fun, no trends

  3. I Like Power Trip says:

    This record is fucking good. Executioner’s Tax gets me going! :D

  4. Marc Defranco says:

    Yeah you got that right, this band sucks

  5. N.L. says:

    I am glad to see somebody refute the praises heaped on Nightmare Logic. I would expect testosterone-pumping power and punch from this kind of music, but the couple of songs to which I listened fell flat for me; I agree with your statement that “there is no transfer of momentum from riff to riff to create tension, no dynamics in composition.” This music doesn’t seem special or outstanding at all, much less worthy of sitting atop year’s-end metal lists.

  6. NWN Die Hard Vinyl Collection & Ladyboy Waifu says:

    Funderground trannycore bullshit.

  7. Rainer Weikusat says:

    Overkill on valium. They really do this better themselves,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSbgxG-jLMU

    NB: I wouldn’t – under any circumstances – listen to this myself but someone who thinks retro-1980s is charming might as well get the real thing instead of this pitiful imitation.

  8. Vigilance says:

    Can the commentators here help me decide which is worse:

    1) metal archives canned adjectives + random use of whilst + look how lax I am cursing.

    Or

    2) D/MU/ autistically reading off tab sheets as the whole review.

    1. S.C. says:

      Second one because autism at least is sincere.

      1. desu metal says:

        Wait, so, you mean the first one is worse?

      2. Vigilance says:

        Is it sincere? Or is it the last refuge of metal journalists who have nothing creative to say?

  9. hipster_faggot says:

    I have never been a part of any group, scene, had friends, or had a close connection with my family, thus I am devoid of culture and empty on the inside. I plunder the annals of art for “the good shit” (whatever gets me off) and leave the rest. This makes me the ultimate hipster, and here I am reading this very site.

    I found this website because I heard Leprosy about 30 years after the fact, but it still deeply moved me when I finally did hear it. Afterward, I’ve had dreams where I heard this album. I can’t stop listening to it. The album has been a jumping-off point for exploring Death Metal. On my quest for the good shit, I found this site because I was, no joke, searching for what the Metal Hipsters were interested in. Sorry to have to lay that one on you.

    I haven’t followed this site for long, so I hope this isn’t shocking news that you are, in fact, a hipster. I knew I found the right site because the only people who care what hipsters are listening to/doing/wearing are hipsters. Who else even uses the word “hipster”? The first time I ever heard that word was from a hipster calling another hipster a “hipster”.

    Look at all the group-think from your article, you might as well be in a church with the other “Hessians”. It must suck to give the hipsters so much power in determining what music you will like and dislike. You are a slave to the hipster dogma which prevents you from enjoying things based on their popularity.

    So from one hipster to another, keep on resisting that hype, my brother…

    1. Nicholas Vahdias says:

      Wow a pretty pathetic attempt at trolling and a weak understanding of applied logic.

      This should help http://www.math.niu.edu/~richard/Math101/implies.pdf

      1. Kekin' @ur lyfe says:

        Bruuuuh, you still replied thoe. So git fuct :^)

    2. desu metal says:

      Wow, really makes you think

    3. Rainer Weikusat says:

      You are a slave to the hipster dogma which prevents you from enjoying things based on their popularity.

      Nobody »enjoys things« because they’re popular. Herd people anxiously declare their allegiance to whatever currently signifies herd membership and as anxiously drop it again once the herd has (mentally) chewed it into featureless bits and moves on to a new “modern” thing.

      The core of this experience is social, “do what everyone does” (lest you end up alone).

      “The hipster dogma”, if there is such a thing, would idolize being a trendsetter — be the first to adopt “the new modern thing” (and the first to move on).

      No genuine different, just different speeds.

    4. Finnish Death Metal was the pinnacle of death metal says:

      Nobody here gives a shit about whether something is popular/isnt. Why is Morbid Angel, “Ride the Lightning”, and Sepultura “Arise” praises so much then?

      You are just projecting youself. Also, Leprosy was a weak album.

  10. Hereweald’s social worker says:

    Many good points, but includes some vague musical commentary which is utterly indicative of writers on this site:

    “Loud scooped guitars and single pedal drum dominate the aural soundscape with the bass rumbling mixed in with the guitars as the vocals glide over the whole sound distinct yet drenched in reverb.”

    “All songs start with a simplistic motif held together by pulsating cadenced single pedal drums and chugging guitar riffs.”

    “…plays less with syncopation and expectations and more with simple variations of a steady beat.”

    Sentences like this are virtually meaningless without examples.

    Rule 1: at least point out where, in the album, you are actually talking aboht. I.e. using the youtube clip as a reference ‘3:34 to 4:15’ kindof thang pls.

    1. >All songs start with a simplistic motif held together by pulsating cadenced single pedal drums and chugging guitar riffs

      I wonder where on the album I can hear this part though hrmmm

      1. Finnish Death Metal was the pinnacle of death metal says:

        I wonder that as well

    2. Finnish Death Metal was the pinnacle of death metal says:

      Something you seem to forget is these songs are cyclical. It’s very obvious where these are…

    3. desu metal says:

      Yeah those sentences are verbose wank with or without examples noted

      “Aural soundscape” really nigga?

      1. Rectums Disdained says:

        Well what, “rectal soundscape”?!

        1. desu metal says:

          Aural means perceived by human sound-sense

          Soundscape refers to an arrangement of aurally-perceived elements

          “Aural soundscape” is like saying “frigid snowscape”

          Get fucked for making me respond

  11. Mike says:

    Siiiiick. Love the album. Great live

  12. Bra Burning Womynist says:

    These guys were better when they were honest about the fact that they’re hardcore kids. Their production was better too. None of that fake ass reverb shit going on. I can hang with wignorant hardcore, but not when it’s trying to disguise itself as retro beer metal.

  13. Eric Drummond says:

    Whoever wrote this crap review- you are an idiot. Calling Power trip liberal is like calling your mom, dad. You can take this word salad review and let it fester. PowerTrip was probably the best performance I saw in S.F. in 2017. Critics like you can take your big ass salary and buy a shit sandwich and eat it. You obviously have no soul and don’t understand the human condition and only criticize artists that can feel the people.

    1. Adrian McCoy says:

      >in S.F.

      Yeah, you probably “feel” a lot of people. All of them men.

    2. Power Trip is gay and so is your comment says:

      Power Trip sucks. Who cares how much AIDS jizz they blew on your face in S.F. this shit is fucking terrible. Who cares if they’re liberal or not. This has zero creativity and no soul since the extent they’ll always “feel the people” is by pandering to the stupid.

    3. They aren’t even a real band, more like a group of musicians laughing at old veterans when they sneak themselves into opening-act situations. Kind of like the retarded children that make their way into bands that existed before they were born almost as if its a primitive chumpnanderthall instinct to grab social status through the first opening they see(metal in this case).

      as for the music, Those opening riffs made me think they would play a grind riff or something but instead they typically play gay “thrash metal” riffs like they woke up halfway through the editing process remembering that they were supposed to play “thrash metal” for reasons they don’t remember themselves.

    4. Power Trip = SJWcore says:

      “Artists”… you are a fag. “Feel the people” is also gay.

  14. Power Trip is gay says:

    This is AIDS. At least King 810 made me laugh.

  15. Trashchunk says:

    “We are living in an age where the funderground consumes a large amount of albums in a very short period of time and most releases never get more than one listen. This means that nothing can be digested by these listeners and that inner complexity is undervalued since one cannot immerse themselves completely during the first listen.”

    This is very true.

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