I had the privilege of talking with guitarist Hiran Deraniyagala last year (Read the interview here) when the seeds for War Of Will were just being planted and after hearing the finished product I can tell you that thrash is alive and well in 2013 thanks to bands like Battlecross. A band that merges new school power metal in the vein of Dragonforce with other modern heavy greats like 3 Inches Of Blood without the gimmicks or hokeyness, Battlecross also offer up that pure thrash sound that longtime Metallica or Megadeth fans desperately crave these days. With their latest, War Of Will, Battlecross continues their ascension towards metal greatness.
Beginning with “Force Fed Lies”, which has theses anthemic moments that are at times reminiscent of Dragonforce except for the pure viciousness that vocalist Kyle Gunther exudes in his delivery, Battlecross immediately go for the throat and don’t let go until the final note of “Never-Ending Night”. In fact, Gumby owns throughout. The whole band does actually. “Force Fed Lies” is just the tip of the iceberg because the meat and potatoes that is the rest of War Of Will is just metal bliss.
“Get Over It” has this otherworldly guitar line within leading into the unbridled assault of “Ghost Alive” where you get to hear some of Don Slater’s stellar Ellefson-esque bass runs. “Flesh & Bone” continues the modern thrash trend with a ferocious dueling guitar solos between Tony Asta and Deraniyagala while “The Will To Overcome” is one of the many to feature Mike Kreger pounding away relentlessly (“Beast” is another outstanding Kreger feature).