Battlecross

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For other uses, see Battle Cross.
Battlecross
Battlecross 2013.jpg
Background information
Origin Canton, Michigan
Genres Thrash metal,[1] melodic death metal[2]
Years active 2003—present
Labels Metal Blade
Associated acts Woe of Tyrants, The Black Dahlia Murder, All Shall Perish
Website www.battlecrossmetal.com
Members Kyle Gunther
Tony Asta
Hiran Deraniyagala
Don Slater
Alex Bent
Past members Jay Saling
Jason Leone
Marshall Wood
Mike Kreger
Michael Heugel

Battlecross is an American heavy metal band from Canton, Michigan. The band describes their sound as "Blue Collar Thrash Metal".[3]

History[edit]

The band was founded in 2003 by Tony Asta and Hiran Deraniyagala in Canton, MI, where the childhood best friends and neighbors formed the earliest beginnings of Battlecross while attending Salem High School. Various members came and went. In 2006, vocalist Marshall Wood was hired who brought a new level of aggression ultimately altering the vocal direction of the band. In 2007, drummer Mike Kreger was hired.[1] In 2008 and 2010 respectively, bassist Don Slater and singer Kyle "Gumby" Gunther joined the band, after Marshall's departure for family reasons. Together, they played local shows around Detroit and in the midwest and opened for such acts as Dying Fetus, GWAR, DevilDriver, The Absence, Vital Remains and The Faceless.[4]

Pursuit of Honor (2011)[edit]

In 2010, Battlecross self-released their debut album Push Pull Destroy.[2] In late 2010, the band caught the eye of Metal Blade Records while members were replacing their vocalist, Marshall Wood. The band tapped Kyle "Gumby" Gunther of the Flint, MI-area band and management roster mate, I Decay, to front the band. Gunther stepped in to re-record the album and rewrote the track Aiden, renaming it Kaleb after his newborn son. The re-recorded album, Pursuit of Honor, was released in August 2011 by Metal Blade Records[5] and was recorded at Random Awesome Recording Studio in Bay City, Michigan and produced by Josh Schroeder.[3][6]

Pursuit of Honor produced three singles. ‘Push Pull Destroy,’ ‘Man of Stone’ and ‘Breaking You,’ which combined, spent 50 weeks on SiriusXM Liquid Metal ‘Devil’s Dozen’ list of most requested songs,[7] with ‘Push Pull Destroy’ at the #1 spot for five weeks in Spring 2012.[8] The accompanying video has racked up more than 1.8 million views on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miZLob1Hi4I and was the break-out track for these high-energy thrashers.[9]

War of Will (2013)[edit]

Main article: War of Will

In early 2013, the band announced that they will enter the studio in March to record their follow-up to their 2011 Metal Blade debut Pursuit of Honor, The band will begin tracking immediately after the "Another Year, Another Tour" with IN FLAMES, DEMON HUNTER and ALL SHALL PERISH for 27 North American dates. Eyal Levi will handle engineering duties on the record and ARMORED SAINT's Joey Vera, who mastered the band's cover version of PANTERA's "Fucking Hostile", will master.

Lewis, responsible for the production and/or engineering for bands such as THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, TRIVIUM, DEVILDRIVER and DEICIDE, said: "I can't wait to be a part of BATTLECROSS' next record. From the moment I heard the band I knew I wanted to be a part of their development. Hearing the new music has only solidified that feeling. Working with our good friends at Metal Blade and bringing great new music to the masses is what it's all about."

According to statements made in the press, Metal Blade records President Michael Faley stated that the record would be released in time for the band's appearance on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in July 2013.

In April 2013, the band's label issued a press release announcing that drummer Shannon Lucas, formerly of All That Remains and The Black Dahlia Murder, served as the session drummer on the newest Battlecross album, to be released in Summer of 2013.[10]

Departure of Michael Kreger[edit]

In 2013, It was reported that drummer Michael Kreger had left the band to attend to personal business. Kevin Talley of Six Feet Under was announced as the touring drummer for the band for their New England Metal and Hardcore Festival and Orion Music + More appearances.[11]

Talley, who has also played with Dååth, Chimaira, Misery Index, Nothnegal and Dying Fetus, said: "I'm stoked to play these shows with such an energetic and impressive band like BATTLECROSS. I had a chance to see them play on Trespass America and at the Scion A/V Metal Blade anniversary show and was blown away! New England Metal and Hardcore Festival and Orion Music + More are huge opportunities for the band and I'm honored to fill in behind the kit; they are definitely one of my favorite new bands!"[12]

Drummer Changes and 2014[edit]

Following the departure of Michael Kreger, the band has gone through a cycle of touring drummers. Kevin Talley, formerly of Chimaira filled in for the 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Following the tour, and a show at GWARBQ 2014, Talley stepped down. When the band hit the road with Hatebreed, Shadows Fall, and The Acacia Strain for a fall 2013 tour, drummer Adam Pierce of All Shall Perish stepped in behind the kit for the band.

In 2014, Adam stepped down as the band's drummer, and in stepped session drummer from "War of Will" Shannon Lucas. Lucas, already familiar with the material, fit the slot perfectly. He stepped in and stuck with the band up until summer 2014.

During 2014, Battlecross saw a rise in popularity, hitting many tours along the way, including 2 tours in Europe, including a slot on the renown Download Festival held in Donington Park. While in Europe, the band hit many smaller venues with fellow Mayhem Festival tour mates Huntress. Following a return to the States, Battlecross wasted no time in hitting the road again across America, in direct support of Canadian metallers Protest the Hero. During the tour, the band got a much needed exposure increase from being on a bill with such a different style of metal. This spike in popularity led to a small headlining tour over the Summer. But it would come at the cost of drummer Shannon Lucas, who withdrew from the band after the Protest the Hero tour. However, the band quickly had a replacement in the wings, filling the kit position with drummer Alex Bent. Bent completed the headlining tour, which was Battlecross' first headline tour, with support from Ikillya. Canadian metal band Crimson Shadows were also suppose to be on the tour, but encountered problems getting access to the States. The tour also included a stop at Dirt Fest 2014.

On August 20, Battlecross will hit the stage in Mexico City, their first concert in the country, in support of Black Label Society. Following the show, they will then set off on a small South American tour in support of Killswitch Engage and Memphis May Fire. They will then return to the States for a fall tour opening for Machine Head, Children of Bodom, and Epica. The tour will also include a stop at Fillmageddon in Silver Spring, MD.

The band also look to close 2014 with a rumored entry into the studio to start the recording of their third studio album, and follow up to "War of Will."

Reviews[edit]

Pursuit of Honor received accolades from music reviewers from across the globe. In many reviews, the album referenced the band's promise to rival the Big Four of Metal and perhaps one of the best albums on the modern thrash metal scene.[13] The band and the debut also drew comparisons to metal groove heavy-weights Pantera and Lamb of God, with Metal Assault naming the record "one of the most 'complete' heavy metal albums in recent times" and "bristling with fist-pumping, face-melting heavy metal at its finest."[14]

Oft-critical website Blabbermouth reviewed the album as "easily one of the better metal debuts of 2011," stating that Pursuit of Honor will leave you breathless, maybe even skinless" and giving the album an '8' rating. The website described the album as "traditional thrash metal, but not in a retro wannabe sense, and is delivered in a package that is modern, yet avoids being too cookie-cutter; melodic, yet not "pretty" or cleanly sung. Death metal heaviness with compositional skill, "Pursuit of Honor" is above all else inanely energized."[15]

Tour History[edit]

2011[edit]

Rose Funeral[edit]

In late 2011, Battlecross embarked on their first tour ever with Rose Funeral and Diamond Plate[16] after playing a CMJ Music Marathon Showcase with Skeletonwitch and Turbid North in New York City.[17] It was at this time that Jose Mangin of Liquid Metal (SiriusXM) noticed the band and began spinning 'Push Pull Destroy'. the band's first single, on the radio show's 'The Devil's Dozen' list of most requested metal tracks in North America. The single spent a total of 40 weeks on the charts.

2012[edit]

Hate Eternal & Goatwhore[edit]

In early 2012, Battlecross replaced the band Fallujah on a tour with Hate Eternal and Goatwhore after Fallujah was involved in a van accident in Wyoming. It was at this time that 'Push Pull Destroy' hit #1 on the SiriusXM Liquid Metal charts and spent 5 weeks at #1 while the 2nd single 'Breaking You' was introduced into the countdown.

Occupation Domination Tour with Origin[edit]

Following a Metal Blade Records Showcase at SXSW in March 2012, the band was announced to open Occupation Domination, a full United States Tour with Headliners Origin (band) and support bands Cattle Decapitation, Decrepit Birth and Rings of Saturn.[18]

Metal Hammer's Trespass America Festival Tour[edit]

Although Battlecross was heavily rumored to join the 2012 Summer Slaughter Tour,[19] In April, Battlecross was announced to be the opening band for the highly anticipated touring festival, Metal Hammer's "Trespass America Festival" headlined by Five Finger Death Punch with additional support from God Forbid, Emmure, Pop Evil, Trivium and Killswitch Engage.[20] The Trespass America lasted from July 13 – August 28, 2012 and is credited to be the band's breakout performance as a crossover metal artist, appealing to both death metal and mainstream metal fans alike and contributing to the band's growing popularity across the world.[citation needed]

In Fall 2012, Battlecross followed up the Trespass America Festival tour with high-profile one-off performances, including: A Scion Metal Showcase with Six Feet Under, Cattle Decapitation and Gypsy Hawk in Pomona, CA,[21] and a globally streamed Metal Blade Records 30th Anniversary/CD Release party with label mates As I Lay Dying in New York City, with the latter show streamed live across the world via partners LiveStream.[22]

Heavy MTL[edit]

During the "Trespass America Festival", Battlecross appeared at the 2012 Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, Quebec and headlined the Apocalypse stage, playing against System of a Down who played on the festival's main stage.[23]

Rockstar Energy Mayhem Cruise cancelled[edit]

During the summer of 2012, Battlecross was announced to be participating in the inaugural Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival Cruise in December 2012, with Lamb of God, Anthrax, Suicide Silence, Hatebreed, Machine Head, and others.[24] Due to Randy Blythe of Lamb of God's legal trouble in the Czech Republic and low ticket sales surrounding the uncertainty of Lamb of God's performance, the cruise was cancelled, but was heavily rumored to be a preview of the 2013 Rockstar Energy Mayhem tour line up for the following year.[25]

Growing Pains with Abiotic[edit]

In December 2012, as Battlecross embarked on its first headlining tour, the Growing Pains Tour with label mates Abiotic as the support act.[26]

2013[edit]

Another Year, Another Tour with In Flames[edit]

In December 2012, it was announced that Battlecross would join Sweden's In Flames, Demon Hunter and All Shall Perish on a 30-date North American Another Year, Another Tour in early 2013.[27]

Orion Music + More Festival with Metallica[edit]

Battlecross performing at Mayhem Festival in Dallas, Texas with touring percussionist Kevin Talley of Dååth

In early 2013, Metallica announced that Detroit's own Battlecross would join the lineup for the 2013 Orion Music + More Festival, to be held at Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan, on June 8 and 9. The band is scheduled to open for headliners Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rise Against, Deftones, All Shall Perish and Bassnectar.[28]

In early June 2013, Metallica invited Battlecross to appear on stage with them at the Festival's global press conference in the days prior to the event. Metallica's James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo were photographed hanging out with members of Battlecross prior to the band's stage time and also introduced the band at the onset of their performance on the Frantic Stage.

Billboard Magazine called Battlecross 'Breakout band of the Fest.'

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival[edit]

Battlecross performed at the 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival headlined by Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon and Amon Amarth. [29] [30]

Battlecross was lauded as one of the festival's stand-outs, earning live show reviews referencing the band as 'must-see' and 'best performance on the festival' by press outlets covering the festival.[31]

The band became known for their philanthropy on the tour, regularly giving $1 of each 'War of Will' album sale, to charities in the local markets where they played, including Veteran's re-employment programs, the Boston One Fund and to the families of the firefighters killed in the Arizona Wildfires. Although the band demonstrated their commitment to community, the band was also known for encouraging an extreme form of moshing, called the Wall of death (moshing) during the song 'Flesh and Bone'. Fans from across America took to You Tube to debate which Mayhem Festival markets boasted the most 'brutal' Battlecross Wall of Death, with the press releasing compilations of the act for comparisons.[32]

The Divinity Of Purpose Fall Tour 2013[edit]

Hatebreed will be touring from late September until early October of 2013 in support of their latest studio album The Divinity of Purpose along with Shadows Fall, The Acacia Strain and Battlecross.[33]

Death Angel North American Tour 2013[edit]

From late October until early November of 2013, Death Angel will be performing with 3 Inches of Blood, Battlecross, Revocation and Diamond Plate to support The Dream Calls for Blood, their seventh studio album. [34]

2014[edit]

Battlecross at Rock am Ring 2014

Killswitch Engage World Tour 2014 w/ Trivium & Miss May I[edit]

In early 2014, Battlecross set off for their first overseas tour, opening up for Killswitch Engage, Trivium and Miss May I in the United Kingdom and Mainland Europe.[35] Again, the band earned praise from the European press for a performance 'so full of confidence and conviction with metal anthems that belonged in venues of this size'.[36]

It was also announced that Battlecross would continue the run in the USA later in the year, as a part of the Killswitch Engage Disarm the Descent World Tour. A dozen dates with Killswitch Engage alone or with Trivium announcing rotating direct support slots between Battlecross and Trivium in regional markets.[37]

Protest The Hero Tour[edit]

In March 2014, Battlecross embarked on a six week full U.S. tour providing direct support to Canadian progressive metal band, Protest The Hero and playing ahead of The Safety Fire, Intervals and Night Verses.[38] Upon announcement of the tour, it was reported by the press and fans that the tour made 'no sense' with Battlecross being sandwiched between two progressive heavy metal acts, but the band's appearance proved to be a success by winning over progressive metal fans with their cross-over, energetic form of metal.[39]

Graspop Metal Meeting 2014[edit]

In June 2014, Battlecross has taken part in Graspop Metal Meeting in Flanders, Belgium.[40]

Download Festival 2014[edit]

On Saturday, June 14, 2014, Battlecross performed on the Red Bull Live Stage at the 2014 Download Festival in Donington Park, Leicestershire, England.[41]

Band members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
Heatseekers Albums
[43]
Billboard 200
[44]
Push Pull Destroy
Pursuit of Honor
War of Will
  • Released: 2013
  • Label: Metal Blade Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
2 134
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Demos[edit]

List of extended plays
Title EP details
Demo
  • Released: 2005
  • Label: (Self-released)

Singles[edit]

List of singles, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Hostile" 2012 Released through iTunes only
"Force Fed Lies"[45] 2013 War of Will

Videos[edit]

List of videos, showing year released
Title Year
"Push Pull Destroy" 2011
"Kaleb" 2011
"Flesh & Bone" 2013
"Never Coming Back" 2013

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Questions with...Hiran Deraniyagala of Battlecross
  2. ^ a b Battlecross Discography, Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  3. ^ a b BATTLECROSS, Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  4. ^ Battlecross – laut.de, Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  5. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Pursuit of Honor - Battlecross". Allmusic. Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ agony&ecstasy: BATTLECROSS: Pursuit Of Honor, Retrieved July 20, 2012
  7. ^ "BATTLECROSS to enter the studio next month! | Metal Blade Records". Metalblade.com. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  8. ^ "Battlecross Invades the States with Five Finger Death Punch, Killswitch Engage and More". Music News Nashville. 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  9. ^ "BATTLECROSS Parts Ways With Drummer, Recruits SIX FEET UNDER's KEVIN TALLEY". Blabbermouth.Net. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  10. ^ "BATTLECROSS unveil Shannon Lucas as session drummer for new album". Retrieved April 30, 2013.  The new album's first single "Force Fed Lies" was released and made available for digital download on Wednesday, May 29, 2013.
  11. ^ "Battlecross Announces Fill-in Drummer". Metal Gauntlet. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  12. ^ "BATTLECROSS Parts Ways With Drummer, Recruits SIX FEET UNDER's KEVIN TALLEY -". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  13. ^ http://valkyrianmusic.com/2011/09/01/battlecross-pursuit-of-honor-2011/ Battlecross – Pursuit Of Honor [2011] « Valkyrian Music]
  14. ^ Battlecross: Pursuit Of Honor (Album Review)
  15. ^ Blabbermouth.Net
  16. ^ FULL BLOWN CHAOS, ROSE FUNERAL, DIAMOND PLATE, BATTLECROSS Hit The Road - Metal Injection | Tour Dates | Metal Injection
  17. ^ ANNOUNCING THE METALSUCKS/ METAL INJECTION/ 1000 KNIVES CMJ SHOWCASE, STARRING KVELERTAK, SKELETONWITCH, BARN BURNER, TURBID NORTH, AND BATTLECROSS | MetalSucks
  18. ^ Origin, Cattle Decapitation ‘Occupation Domination 2012′ Tour Dates | SMNnews.com
  19. ^ Pathology, Battlecross, Vildhjarta Up For Possible “Summer Slaughter Tour” Opening Slot | Theprp.com – Metal, Hardcore And Rock News, Reviews And More
  20. ^ Paul, Long (April 24, 2012). "Trespass America Touring Fest Breaks Out: FFDP, Killswitch, Trivium, God Forbid, Hit the Road". KNAC. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  21. ^ Bravewords.com > News > SIX FEET UNDER, CATTLE DECAPITATION, BATTLECROSS, GYPSYHAWK, PILGRIM - Metal Blade Records' Scion A/V Label Showcase Interviews Posted; Gypsyhawk, Pilg...
  22. ^ As I Lay Dying with special guests Battlecross on Livestream
  23. ^ Battlecross | News
  24. ^ Mayhem Festival Cruise Officially Announces Lineup! | Metalsucks
  25. ^ Organizers Cancel 2012 Mayhem Cruise Set to Feature Lamb of God, Machine Head + Anthrax
  26. ^ Battlecross, Abiotic tour dates | Comments | Lambgoat
  27. ^ Blabbermouth.Net - In Flames Announces U.S. Dates With Demon Hunter, All Shall Perish, Battlecross
  28. ^ "Metallica Announces 2013 Orion Fest Line up". Revolver Magazine. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Omslagfoto's". Facebook. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  30. ^ "Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival". Facebook. 2011-08-02. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  31. ^ Nihill, Bill. "Concert Review: The 2013 Mayhem Festival Massacres in Massachusetts". Metal Descent. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  32. ^ Mark, Metal (August 5, 2013). "BATTLECROSS: "WALL OF DEATH" COMPILATION FROM THE 2013 MAYHEM FESTIVAL! - See more at: http://skullsnbones.com/battlecross-wall-of-death-compilation-from-the-2013-mayhem-festival/#sthash.do52pVhH.dpuf". SkullsN Bones. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  33. ^ "> News > HATEBREED Announce North American Headline Dates With SHADOWS FALL, THE ACACIA STRAIN, BATTLECROSS". Bravewords.com. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  34. ^ "Death Angel + Battlecross Unite for Fall 2013 Tour". Noisecreep.com. 2013-08-09. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  35. ^ Mosh (2013-10-29). "Battlecross to open for Trivium/Killswitch Engage". Moshville Times. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  36. ^ Hingle, James. "Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Miss May I & Battlecross @ Brixton Academy 02/02/2014". Getyourrockout.co.uk. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  37. ^ Tietelman, Brian. "Killswitch to Engage with Battlecross Again". Metal Inside. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  38. ^ Graham 'Gruhamed' Hartmann (2014-01-22). loudwire http://loudwire.com/protest-the-hero-north-american-tour-battlecross-the-safety-fire-more/. Retrieved 2014-02-20.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  39. ^ "Live Review: PROTEST THE HERO Bring Proggy Goodness To Sacramento". Metal Injection. 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  40. ^ "Black Sabbath for Belgium's Graspop 2014". eFestivals.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  41. ^ "Battlecross | Download Festival 2015". Downloadfestival.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  42. ^ a b "Battlecross". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  43. ^ "Heatseekers Albums : Page 1". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  44. ^ "200 : Page 7". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  45. ^ "Battlecross "War of Will" | Metal Blade Records". Metalblade.com. Retrieved 2013-06-12. 

External links[edit]