Saturday, May 28, 2022

Power Trip Continue Their Rise To Greatness With A Chaotic Headline Show In London

Whilst most certainly a beloved genre of music, it would be critically safe to say that the genre of metal has certainly had its peaks and troughs over the years. Some periods of time are saturated with formulaic slices of generic predictability, whilst other times are exciting, invigorating, and unpredictable. Right now in metal music, we are on the verge of another incredibly exciting time due to the re-emergence of a wonderful little corner of music called the ‘crossover’ – the wonderful merging of straight out speed/thrash metal, and hardcore punk music.

Power Trip have been widely accepted on both of these platforms due to their hardcore roots, mixed with their crossover appeal which leans towards the metal crowds. No, I am not talking about ‘metalcore’ (although this was a decent sub-genre), I’m talking about the crossover. The first time any sort of indication of this happened was when Cro-Mags released their masterpiece The Age Of Quarrel back in 1986, which essentially bridged the gap between the worlds of metal and hardcore. Other bands followed in the wake including Crumbsuckers, Leeway, D.R.I., and many more. But this is 2018… and whilst Power Trip have been relentless with their unique blend of heavy music, their true ascension is just about underway.

On this night in a very hectic, heaving, and excitable Camden Underworld in London, there is a real genuine sense of excitement and nervous energy. A perfect blend of hardcore kids, punks, metal heads, and all the in between, there is no divide amongst this crowd, merely but one of union, shared ideals, and cultural diversity.

But first up to open the show are Mancunian metal trio Aggressive Perfector. A cacophonous blend of raw howls, intense drumming, and dirty heavy sorts of guitars roaring, these guys certainly were a top choice for opening tonight’s festivities. Whilst they are clearly still starting out and with a fair way to go in expanding their sound, it is clear that these guys do have a lot of promise, and that they are certainly ones to keep an eye on for the future.

However… the greatest surprise of the night was from main hometown support band Game. Whilst a lot of mystery surrounded who this band are and with a lot of people amusingly trying to figure out where to find their music prior to the show, these turned out to pleasantly surprise everyone with their anarcho-punk/hardcore fury. Vocalist Ola – clad in full military attire and with a soul-piercing stare, a formidable presence which commands respect and displays intensity from the get-go. Their set a breakneck rush of English / Polish spoken hardcore punk, which visibly leaves a decent half of the crowd with their jaws dropped. Whilst a predominant amount of this crowd is clearly impressed yet soaking in the sonic intensity of this set, its safe to say that Game won a fair few new fans this evening – myself included! Incredible main support set.

But when all is said and done, this crowd are ready and baying for Power Trip. The level of expectation and excitement is gradually growing through out the night, and when the band come on and tear in to ‘Divine Apprehension’, the place is ready to set it off. First thing that has to be said about tonight’s set, is how freaking great the sound is, and how tight their musicianship has well and truly advanced! Their sound is so unbelievably loud but yet so crisp and clear, that this is the kind of live sound that is meant for stadiums. It’s a most welcome assault to the senses if I ever heard one. But the most striking and second point one would like to make, is just how much fun the guys are having onstage. Humble, grateful, smiles all around, and just that awesome sense of showmanship where they were essentially welcomed back to something akin of a hometown heroes welcome.

With all these points aside, it is incredibly hard to pick absolutely any fault with tonight’s performance! A solid setlist which includes scathing renditions of ‘Soul Sacrifice’, ‘Executioner’s Tax (Swing Of The Axe)’, and ‘Manifest Decimation’ from their excellent sophomore album Nightmare Logic released last year. But not forgetting a sweet mixture of older material including ‘Suffer No Fool’, ‘Heretic’s Fork’, and a maddening encore with crowd favourite ‘Crossbreaker’, its musical display is only matched by the feverish and chaotic energy of the crowd tonight – who are unrelenting in the pit, as well as taking flight off stage with some highly impressive stage diving throughout the entire set!

It really is just so terribly tough to pick a favourite moment from tonight’s set. But if anything that could be deemed a highlight, was witnessing the amount of gender equality there was at tonight’s show. Whilst it must be noted that in the past at metal shows, there has been somewhat not just a predominantly male crowd, but female crowd surfers and stage divers have sadly ended up being mistreated in doing so and taken advantage of, which is 1000% not cool. However, if there is anything that metal crowds have certainly taken note from in the hardcore and punk crowds and communities, its that EVERYONE is equal, and no one dares be treated in any other sort of way. So to see female stage divers and crowd surfers just as much as the guys at what would be classed a ‘metal’ show without any hassle, was nothing short of beautiful. This is the beauty of the crossover people, always so much to learn and respect from each other!

But when all is said and done, I genuinely feel that Power Trip are on the verge of something pretty special right now. Although one would feel that they are only really starting to take flight, it could be said that this is their ‘Ride The Lightning’ phase. There is an ever incredible amount of awareness, and a hugely expanding fan base for them right now, and it seems that if they keep this up, in a couple of years time they could well be playing some vastly larger venues, as well as cementing their legacy as one of the greatest – not just crossover bands – but new wave of metal bands in the present day. An astounding set, and an incredible night which only just gathered momentum as the night went on. Bloody marvellous!

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