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It's tough to do anything with thrash that wasn't done in the genre's prime (roughly 1983-1990). Sometimes it feels like the only real reason to have new thrash bands is 'cause the OGs keep playing theaters (or stadiums) and we wanna see this music in a small club where it belongs. With Nightmare Logic, though, Power Trip have made a rare modern thrash record that really breathes new life into the genre. It's hard to put your finger on why exactly Power Trip feel so vital. All their riffs and whammy-bar solos come straight out of the '80s, but they manage to sound as hungry and fresh as many of their influences did 30+ years ago. Even when the riffs sound re-used, the passion is timeless. (Not to mention if you've seen Power Trip at one of those small clubs I was talking about, you know that passion comes through in their truly insane live show too.)

It was pretty clear that Power Trip were the real deal when they released their debut album, 2013's Manifest Decimation, but in hindsight it sounds like they were just figuring things out on that album compared to Nightmare Logic. It's sharper, clearer, and bigger in every way. The band sounds tighter now. As a vocalist and lyricist, Riley Gale sounds like he has more purpose than ever. And even if they're still rooted in a three-decade-old sound, Nightmare Logic doesn't feel like an homage. While Manifest Decimation sounded like it was produced to sound like it came out in 1984, Nightmare Logic has crisp, modern production. Power Trip are also fusing their influences more seamlessly here than on their debut. They're as much a punk band as they are a metal band, but they're not really doing the crossover revival thing that their current tourmates in Iron Reagan are doing. They're making music where you can't really tell the difference between metal and punk, more like Martyrdod in spirit than D.R.I. Part of this is because crossover often had a sense of humor; Power Trip are dead serious. Talking to Treble about the new album, Riley said, "A lot of it is me trying to navigate this unprecedented political landscape we’re seeing. This is all stuff I wrote before a guy like Trump was even considered a viable candidate. So now it’s just a kind of validation for what’s going on."

Nightmare Logic is out now on Southern Lord. Stream it:

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(This review originally appeared in Five Notable Releases of the Week on BrooklynVegan.)