Battlecross – the name has a certain power to it that connotes something big is about to be dished out and it’s going to come in chunky proportions. Unfortunately these Michigan natives have failed to do so on this re-issued debut now re-named Pursuit Of Honour.
What’s more frustrating is that a group of clearly talented musicians have made something completely soulless. Though their work is technical, speedy and thrashy, it’s equally boring, repetitive and bland. It’s a classic case of brains and brawn – they have the muscular credentials to play their instruments but have directed their sound to such a poor end.
One of the worst aspects of this record is the consistency of the vocals – which sounds crazy. But it’s the fact that the high pitched, uninspired screams of Kyle Gunther are consistently annoying and monotonous – essentially soiling an already flat sound. The backing growls are deeper but cannot mask what is simply a diabolical mess. Their ambition is to make a rampant melodeath record with thrashy edges and a metalcore sentiment, and while this is appetising on paper, it is most certainly not in practice.
The introduction of Rupture isn’t actually too bad but then the talentless vocals bog it down, going on to worsen with a series of badly executed, arbitrary guitar lines and breakdowns that make you indifferent to continue listening.
Yes, this probably is one of the worst albums we’ve ever had the displeasure of reviewing. The stereo switches off and Pursuit Of Honour cuts – we’ll happily never listen to it again.