Swing of the Axe: Power Trip live in Kansas City, MO 03/16/17


In the few months of 2017, one of the most talked-about releases in the world of extreme music has undoubtedly been Nightmare Logic, the 2nd full-length release from Dallas crossover thrashers Power Trip. Since their Southern Lord debut Manifest Decimation on the Southern Lord label, Power Trip has made a name for themselves with relentless touring and underground word of mouth. They brought their intense brand of thrash metal to the Riot Room Thursday night alongside fellow crossover thrash titans Iron Reagan to a rowdy crowd full of moshing, stage diving and sing-alongs.

Transitioning back and forth between new songs and older tracks, Power Trip opened their set with a one-two punch of Soul Sacrifice and Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe) and showcased their ability to switch up between mid-paced breakdowns and lightning speed thrash with ease. Where the band’s newer material seems to lean more into the Demolition Hammer-esque thrash, their older tunes seem to take more inspiration from groups such as Cro-Mags or Stormtroopers of Death. Suffer No Fool had most of the stagedives of the night – a difficult task when the Riot Room’s stage isn’t that far up off the floor.

Power Trip’s music is heavily defined by their riffs, and a good mix for their live show is pertinent to bring that element to the forefront as much as possible. Thankfully, the Riot Room managed to control their chaotic sound so no one part of the band’s music overpowered the others. It was especially noticeable on how clear vocalist Riley Gale’s lyrics were barked out, and whenever lead guitarist Blake Ibanez ripped out a solo. Kudos on the venue and kudos on the band.

Direct support came from the other big name in current crossover metal, Virginia’s Iron Reagan. Comprising of current and former members of well-known groups such as Municipal Waste, Cannabis Corpse and Darkest Hour, Iron Reagan hardly rests on their laurels and have been making some of the catchiest and genuinely impressive crossover thrash in recent memory. Vocalist Tony Foresta would bound around the Riot Room’s stage and would constantly call for more moshing, more circle pits and more stage dives. Tracks like “Eat Shit and Live,” “Fuck the Neighbors” and the sort-of anthemic set-closer “Miserable Failure” whipped the crowd into a moving, singing frenzy and just proved Iron Reagan’s standing as one of the best live metal bands on the face of the Earth right now.

Support came from two locals at pretty much opposite ends of the musical spectrum. Opening the show was Agent, a punk n’ roll group comprised of familiar faces from other local bands. Each song of theirs was a raucous punk anthem that further solidified that punk music is best when it’s loud, fast and sloppy. Tons of energy in an extremely short set probably won them more than a few fans on this show – hopefully they’ll be on more and more gigs in the future. Direct support fell to heavy stoner/sludge group Hyborian on the eve of the release of their new record. With a sound that falls somewhere in the middle of Mastodon, Baroness, Kylesa and Black Tusk and it’s just as heavy and groovy as you’d expect. Hyborian has been getting some national attention lately and it’s easy to see why. Kansas City’s next breakout band? I think so.

Power Trip:

  1. Soul Sacrifice
  2. Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)
  3. Suffer No Fool
  4. Heretic’s Fork
  5. Nightmare Logic
  6. The Hammer of Doubt
  7. Ruination
  8. Firing Squad
  9. Manifest Decimation
  10. Crossbreaker

Iron Reagan:

  1. A Dying World
  2. In Greed We Trust
  3. Eyeball Gore
  4. Bleed the Fifth
  5. Condition Evolution
  6. Fuck the Neighbors
  7. Shame Spiral
  8. Spoiled Identity
  9. Cycles of Violence
  10. Crossover Ministry
  11. I Won’t Go
  12. Your Kid’s an Asshole
  13. Close to Toast
  14. Eat Shit and Live
  15. Miserable Failure

About Jackson May

Read more from Jackson at Mandatory Metallica and follow him on Twitter at @Mankvill.

View all articles by Jackson May

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