Their debut record with Southern Lord Records, Manifest Decimation is a wrecking ball through the speakers from the title track alone. “Manifest Decimation” opens and boils back the skin like that dream scene in Terminator 2. As certain doom introduces itself through a bone-splitting execution work, the lineup of Power Trip becomes the main intrigue of the sound.
Forming through vocalist Riley Gale who resembles less of a Ronnie James Dio and more of a Chuck Schuldiner from Death fame. The harsh and mighty shouts pair in perfect synchronicity with Blake Ibanez on lead guitar and Nick Stewart on rhythm guitar. The percussion is handled by Chris Ulsh and the bass comes directly from Chris Whetzel.
The engagement comes from a transition that includes some atmospheric nearly prison-planet uses of chains that transition into the track “Conditioned To Death” where Power Trip becomes master of their own demise. Much of the thrash sound is prone to mosh pits and “Conditioned To Death” is no different. The elements are on Power Trip’s side as through each riff from both Ibanez and Stewart, there is an overarching reach of violence and power through conquering.
This is also the first use of a quote-unquote “classic” styled guitar solo that drops in octave and becomes reverbed through the instrumentation. As the faster more noodling style begins, images of spiked belts and leather gauntlets flood into the mind. Where the neon age died out and “Conditioned To Death” takes 80s influence as a complete revamp of the technique. Adding those small samples that describe, “I’m gonna die, you know what that’s like don’t you,” or the chains that shake like a wanting to be freed mental slave continues to orchestrate an ecosystem for Power Trip.
The sun doesn’t often shine on Power Trip’s mind, but “Crossbreaker” takes a different approach to the first introductory handshake as Whetzel on bass and Ulsh on percussion are the only things that get first crack with the audience. A simple drum and bass groove, Power Trip then forms like a multi-leveled Hydra with each section coming back with more heads.
One falls off and is transferred to this shadow realm where another instrumentalist takes the original place. As the guitars falter to be just backing sounds, vocalist Riley Gale becomes the focal point with backing shouts coming from other members of Power Trip.
Essentially Power Trip is this unkillable machine that just won’t stay dead. From start to finish, Manifest Decimation is quick to love on the ears and a hellscape for the mind, burning like the eternal flames that no rain could extinguish.