A Nightmare Trip of Nostalgia
The deleterious effects of nostalgia have been slowly infiltrating every aspect of our culture for a while now. There’s no getting away from it, and not even the most emphatic message board-raging can do anything to stop it. It’s the product of an odd psychological defense mechanism, where people turn to things that granted them joy in the past when the present gets tough.
The metal scene is not immune to it, but then again, there has always been a propensity for musical preservationism amongst metalheads. They want to conserve the sounds and ideas of the past, which was true about the scene even before nostalgia came raging in full force. One could argue that this preservationism has been motivated more by the undying commitment of the fans, rather than purely by nostalgia-fueled pop culture.
But for the sake of this review, there are definitely some bands that fall under the category of “nostalgic metal.” They exist as a pure embodiment of the nightmarish sounds of metal’s past. Power Trip, much like Iron Reagan, are one of those bands. They are a culmination of all the most traditional and pure elements of death, grind and thrash that made these respective movements so influential in the ’80s and ’90s.
Power Trip have been around for roughly a decade, and the majority of their discography has consisted of EPs and splits; but they have nonetheless managed to gather a pretty strong following. Their newest release, Nightmare Logic, is actually only their second full-length album. The record is a trip down memory lane for old-school metal fans, as well as a historical showcase for younger fans who didn’t grow up in that era.
Well-known crossover thrash band Iron Reagan succeeded because they placed the focus on high-quality songwriting rather than a nostalgia gimmick. Power Trip succeeds in this for the most part, but their newest record does have some faults. Nightmare Logic has mostly positive moments, but also features some stale and boring ones. It is purely riff-driven music – but when the riffs are good, the music hits heavy. The teeth-gritting guitar distortion, along with the gravely vocals, make for some solid neck-breaking tracks. Unfortunately, the music has a tendency to pick up momentum and then get stuck on some uninspired, open string chugging that lacks any character or drive.
Thankfully, though, these issues aren’t spread across the whole record. There is enough good riffage in Nightmare Logic to make a fun and pleasing record for fans of old school metal. Power Trip have strength and confidence in their genre, and enough energy to keep the inertia flowing in their music, even if at times it could use a little polishing up.