It’s a Wednesday night in the middle of summer and The Underworld is sold out for a thrash metal band. I know it’s probably not saying much for a 500 capacity venue but considering that heavy music has very little mainstream appeal at the moment, especially thrash metal, it’s a fairly strong testament to the fact that Power Trip are doing something very right at the moment.
We arrive just in time to catch the second band on tonight – GAME. With no social media presence, it’s very difficult to figure out who these guys are before getting to the venue but I suppose that’s their point – get to your local venues, get out to gigs, connect with people face-to-face instead of sitting on your phone or laptop all day living vicariously through some dishonest social media profile where you post countless things you don’t care about to impress people you don’t even really know.
Once the band have set-up they waste barely even a second tearing into their first song of the evening. Vocalist Ola looks like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction having just received a shot of adrenaline – shoulder length black hair with an absolutely crazed look in her eyes. She means every single word she sings as she stares into the audience, seemingly seconds away from just casually tearing someone’s head off and throwing it into the crowd.
Playing their own blend of punk infused hardcore, the guitar riffs are so fast you can barely see Callum’s fingers move accompanied by some punishing basslines from Nicky. It’s all completely juxtaposed between songs where Ola drops her aggressive demeanour and speaks very softly to the audience to thank them for their attention this evening, and requests that everyone puts their phone away for a song to try and detract ourselves from our dependency on social media for validation when it’s used as a tool to control what we do and influence us. All in all it’s a great set, short and sweet at 20 minutes but that’s plenty of time for them to get their point across and hopefully impress all those in attendance tonight.
Callum – Guitar
Nicky – Bass
Jonah – Drums
Ola – Vocals
You can find them at:
Tonight’s headliners, Texan thrash titans POWER TRIP, take a similar approach to their set. Wasting little time in ripping into set opener ‘Divine Apprehension’ the crowd immediately erupt into whatever kind of mosh pit they can muster in this legendary venue with the most awkwardly placed columns. There’s no time for a breather between songs as they plough straight into ‘Suffer No Fool’ with the crowd really getting hyped up but it’s when they drop into album opener ‘Soul Sacrifice’ that things really start to kick off. With no head staying still, the riffs are so punishing they leave a grimace on every ones face and the drums just the right tempo for a massive circle pit. Everyone knows the drill by now, there’s absolutely no break between this and fan favourite ‘Executioner’s Tax’ – to which everyone shouts along to at the top of their lungs! With all the heavy lifting done, the rest of the set just falls in to place. This crowd are firmly in the centre of Riley Gale’s palm now and he gets all the circle, pits and stage divers he asks for as well as an incredible ‘shout-along’ for set closer ‘Crossbreaker’.
This is the third time Power Trip have flown over the UK this year for gigs - firstly with Hatebreed on the Persistence tour, then with Trivium on the Metal Hammer tour and now to play the main stage at one of our finest outdoor metal festivals Bloodstock and you can’t help but think that with another strong album under their belt the sky really is the limit for these guys.
The live show is absolutely killer, the music is even killerer but best of all – people get it.
Suffer No Fool
Executioner's Tax (Swing of the Axe)
Conditioned to Death
Power Trip are:
Riley Gale – Vocals
Blake Ibanez – Guitars
Chris Ulsh – Drums
Nick Stewart – Guitar
Chris Whetzel – Bass
You can find them at: