Trial – Vessel (Review)

TrialTrial are a Swedish Heavy Metal band and this is their second album.

Trial play Classic Heavy Metal full of songs and steel.

The vocals are melodically clean and employ some very nice harmonies. The singer belts out the tunes with power and class. I really like his voice.

The songs on Vessel are very well written and performed. Trial are a clearly a professional band with a high quality threshold. These tracks are memorable even on their first spin and subsequent listens really allow them to get under your skin.

Trial have elements of Epic Heavy Metal, which comes out in the longer length of some of their tracks, as well as a slight Traditional Doom Metal feel to some parts of the songs.

There’s a good amount of variety on this album and the band show they have what it takes to produce enjoyable songs no matter what tempo they play.

Each song has a lot of content and there’s no filler to be found at all. They save the best track for last with the 13 minute epic Restless Blood. Quality.

The production is modern enough to be crisp and punchy but warm enough to not rob the band of any of their heart.

Trial are at that perfect sweet spot between old and new, giving them a timeless air. This is Heavy Metal as it should be played in 2015.

Vessel is a really enjoyable Metal album and I definitely recommend getting your hands on it.

Onheil – Storm is Coming (Review)

OnheilOnheil are from the Netherlands and this is their second album.

Storm is Coming has a strong production with everything sounding crushing and the band easily wreak devastation like a natural disaster, which is partially what the concept of the album is based upon.

Onheil play Black Metal that’s fast and sharp but also surprisingly heavy as they have a bit of a Blackened Thrash/Heavy Metal influence to their sound.

The band I’m reminded of most is Hypocrisy as Onheil have a similar feel to both their style and sound – if you take Hypocrisy circa Into the Abyss and give it a bit more of a Black Metal sheen then you’ll have the right idea.

They’re certainly not Hypocrisy rip-off’s though, as I’m also reminded of bands like Amon Amarth and, (to a lesser extent), Dimmu Borgir, Kreator and Iron Maiden in places.

The vocalist is very accomplished and sounds great whether he’s screaming or growling. Powerful cleans are also used sparingly to add effect and provide good back up to the main shrieks.

The Blackened melodies are played fast and hard, with riffs and leads being in no short supply. Storm is Coming also features an enjoyably Heavy Metal aspect to their sound, mainly in the guitar department. Duelling guitars are prominent and many leads could be straight out of the Classic Heavy Metal rulebook.

This is a band who can play Melodic Black Metal without it sounding jolly or hopeful; this is dark music with an evil tinge to it that all centres around the band’s direct and cutting method of assault.

Overall this is an enjoyable and absorbing listen with good songs and melodies that capture the attention. Check them out and see what you think.

Doomlord – Almas Malditas – Split (Review)

DoomlordDoomlord are from Puerto Rico and play Doom Metal. This is their début release, one half of a split with King Heavy.

This is Classic Doom/Heavy Metal with a good recording and enjoyable songs. Taking cues from early Doom Metal, the band have a strong sound that emphasises the Metal part of Doom Metal and clearly enjoy what they do.

The Spanish-language vocals give the album a nice flavour and helps differentiate the band’s sound. The singer has a good voice and knows his chosen genre well.

The music is well played and the songs have some good moments to them. Tasty riffs and solos abound in these 4 tracks. Keyboards/organs add an extra dimension to the songs and are a nice touch. There a lot of well-written sections in the tracks and the band are adept at creating atmospheric parts to otherwise rocking Metal tunes.

This flies the flag high and proud for True Metal and anyone with a passing interest in the original incarnation of Doom/Heavy Metal would do well to look this up.

Osmium Guillotine – Osmium Guillotine (Review)

Osmium GuillotineOsmium Guillotine are from the UK and this is their début album. They play Heavy Metal.

This is 80’s style Heavy Metal with a sexy guitar sound and plenty of attitude. The production is largely apt for this kind of band, although in a feat of differentiation Osmium Guillotine have a guitar tone that’s both thicker and heavier than most bands playing this genre and it works very well for them.

The music is played with passion and obvious zeal and everyone seems to know their job well. Nice solos too.

This is Old-School Heavy Metal that manages to encapsulate quite a few different feelings from early Metal and distil them into this release. Classic Metal is a given, but Doom Metal, Proto-Thrash and NWOBHM all get a look in. There’s even a touch of Punk to things now and again.

The vocals are great, and there’s not a hint of Power Metal to be seen. I love Power Metal as much as anyone, but it’s nice to hear a band like Osmium Guillotine who are just pure Heavy Metal without the more extravagant ostentation inherent in Power Metal. The singer here has a great set of lungs and possesses the charisma to do the tunes justice.

These are a strong set of songs with plenty of hooks and choruses to keep you coming back for more. Memorable melodies and good riffs flow freely and everything feels just as it should.

Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Anthrax…if these bands float your boat then Osmium Guillotine are a logical band to check out. Along with the recent stellar release from Johnny Touch this proves once again what any real music fan already knew – True Metal isn’t dead.

Great stuff.

Nigromante – Black Magic Night (Review)

Nigromante

From Spain, Nigromante explode from the speakers with some classic NWOBHM-style Heavy Metal and a big two-fingered salute to all around them. This is from the same record label that gave us the brilliant Funeral Circle album, and I have not been disappointed with this release either.

Nigromante have a great sound and that’s energetic and organic. The songs are concise and full of classic Metal shapes and solos the likes of which are seldom heard these days. That the first track is called Heavy Metal Age should tell you everything you need to know.

These tracks are rocking, galloping specimens of prime-time Heavy Metal which may be from the present but is rooted firmly in the past.

The vocals will probably be an acquired taste for some, but for me it’s a nice change from what I was expecting. They have personality and character; not a million miles away from Lee Dorian of Cathedral in fact in places. This singer has a rougher set of lungs than the more Power Metal norm and this gels with the tunes the band bang out – think more Jon Oliva than anything more Euro/Power Metal-centric. It works well.

Black Magic Night is a top album for anyone looking to relive the classic early Metal sound with a strong professional recording and catchy, enjoyable songs. The album creates the right mood right from the get-go and hopefully we’ll be hearing more from this band in the future. Give them a spin.