Power Trip – Opening Fire: 2008-2014 [Compilation] (2018) REVIEW

The sordid reality of any great thrash band’s B-sides and rarities situation throughout history is that most any cash-in collection from the sub-genre’s 80’s/90’s major label heyday sucked a wide mile of ass outside of maybe a few songs from ‘Hidden Treasures’. But hey this is 2018 and bands like Power Trip don’t actually record bad music, ever. So firing up ‘Opening Fire: 2008-2014’ gives a clear and signal-boosted look at what they were doing before their first full-length ‘Manifest Decimation’ hit, not including their 2008 demo or Moshers Delight Records live tape. Hell, even if you’ve heard their first two EPs and compilation tracks they’ve all been remastered up to the standards of their more recent output and it feels like a long-dusted first album.

Getting Arthur Rizk, whose production credits are quality across the board, to remaster these old recordings makes great sense considering the Sumerlands/Eternal Champion alumni has recorded, mixed, mastered or produced each Power Trip release. Rizk set the bar very high with ‘Nightmare Logic’ and what he’s done to tweak the levels of these earlier recordings really revives them beyond their already acceptable sound. The compilation kicks off with the bands self-titled 7″ which includes, more-or-less, the Prong cover that sold me on Power Trip not only because I love ‘Prove You Wrong’ but I always love the Bad Brains sound of that track but their treatment took it in their own Cro-Mags direction. The band’s earlier material received constant comparison to the more metallic side of Cro-Mags and for good enough reason but I think what most folks are hearing is a general influence from NYHC-born crossover with it’s slightly anthemic quality and some Carnivore to break up some of their bigger influences.

“This World” is taken from the ‘America’s Hardcore’ compilation on Triple B Records and it was way heavier than most of the post-hardcore and softboy hardcore bands on the comp. Likewise “Hammer of Doubt” is from Flatspot Records ‘The Extermination Vol. 2’ comp, but everything on Flatspot is worth checking out in general if you like hardcore/crossover. The rest of the spin is the re-release of the ‘Armageddon Blues’ EP that included the full session beyond it’s original 7″ format in 2009 that only included four tracks. Most of the tracks cover the songlist from Power Trip‘s 2008 demo and they’re not the absolute best from the band. I think their really killer material shaped up with their self-titled 7″ so the ‘Armageddon Blues’ stuff just kinda rounds out the compilation with some decent thrash riffs and heavy chugging hardcore parts. “Vultures” is one of the cooler tracks from that session and would at least recommend focusing in on that one if you haven’t heard it before.

Hey, more Power Trip has always been a good thing and like I said before they’ve never published anything that was trash or rote crossover. Riley Gale‘s vocals are a distinct force in thrash that are likewise huge and furious in any era of the band. Seeing the guitar performances shape from simpler hardcore/crossover towards the ‘epic’ spectrum of thrash is satisfying. This wouldn’t be the worst introduction to the band’s discography but you’d really need to experience the jump felt on their two full-lengths. Definitely worth hearing if you aren’t familiar with their early work as the sharp packaging and remastered sound really do the music justice and bring it all up to the level of their recent work.


Artist Power Trip
Type Compilation
Released April 27, 2018
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The true will stick it through. 4.0/5.0

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