Battlecross celebrated the release of their latest album with a few hundred friends and family at their old stomping grounds.
Battlecross is often described as the blue-collar working man’s metal band, always making themselves available to their fans, even with their immense success over the past few years. Ferocious and intense on stage, they remain humble and loyal to the fans who propelled them to the top of the metal spotlight. Returning home to the Token Lounge where they played tons of shows on the local music scene was a no-brainer for them to hold their album release party in support of Rise To Power. This was as much as a family gathering as it was a rock show.
Black Fast kicked off the night shortly after doors opened. A brash, young band from St Louis, MO they wasted no time in whipping the crowd into a frenzied whirlpool of flailing bodies. Their recent release Terms Of Surrender is quickly taking the thrash scene by storm across the country. The energy put off by these young upstarts is boundless. They came to melt faces and left a scalding mass of sweaty flesh and bruised elbows in the pit. As if playing one show wasn’t enough, they packed up as soon as they finished their set to drive an hour south to Toledo, OH and play again opening for Goatwhore. These kids are going to go far and will be one of the major highlights at the upcoming Full Terror Assault festival this September.
Next up on stage came Pick Axe Preacher, a local Michigan act that has been finding their fan base expanding beyond the mitten state borders. A no holds barred brand of metal, with an obtuse and in your face attitude that punches you right in the chest. Riveting riffs and pounding rhythms provide the perfect foundation for the sermon they deliver over the course of their set. The most recent release Salem Justice has propelled them a step above the rest of the local circuit and opened many new opportunities for them to expand their flock in the coming months.
Filling in direct support tonight were Yesterday’s Saints who hail from the most saint-lees place in the country, Washington D.C. Although a minor technical detail set them back ten minutes of their allocated stage time, they more than made up for it with a set combining the best elements of thrash, doom, sludge, and power of metal madness.
The band mentioned they had been delving into a more melodic death metal sound which was evident by several of the newer songs they played. Complex arrangements, that changed up mid-song to different time signatures and tempos, showed off the versatility of this group. Vocalist, Matt Rice shows off his talents when as he switched from Type O Negative style low notes to the screeching ranges of bands such as Exodus or Testament.
By the time Battlecross took to the stage, the entire front half of the venue floor was so packed that one could hardly saw the stage any longer. Playing in front of their hometown fans, whether it is at the Mayhem festival or a small club, they always crank their rage meter up to 150 percent. The love for this band is unparalleled in the state and beyond. A swarming sea of Battlecross shirts waved in the crowd as they launched into their set.
Rise To Power has only been out for a short while, but the crowd was well versed in almost every song they played from the new album. There was little sanctuary on the floor from the mosh pit consuming the entire space in front of the stage. At one point, Gumby headed off into the sea of bodies as arms outstretched to bear him across the human tsunami.
Concluding the set with a rabid version of Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile,” fed the already blazing inferno of adrenaline coursing through the throng of fans. The notes subsided and the band gathered on the stage for a large crowd picture before heading to the merch booth for autograph signings.
Battlecross are embarking on tour with GWAR and the Butcher Babies for three months, don’t miss it.