Sons of Crom – The Black Tower (Review)

Sons of CromSons of Crom are a Swedish blackened heavy metal band and this is their second album.

Sons of Crom’s debut album Riddle of Steel was extremely impressive and enjoyable, making its way into my end of year best of list for 2014. Rich and diverse, it really was a stunner that has easily stood the test of time thus far. Continue reading

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.

Heroes of Vallentor – The Warriors Path Part I (Review)

Heroes of VallentorThis is the début of Heroes of Vallentor. They’re from Sweden and play epic, heroic Heavy Metal.

It’s starts with an intro to end all intros, one that’s so full of heroic themes and fantasy imagery that it’s quite staggering.

When the music itself starts it’s no let down as it’s just as theatrical and heroic as I was hoping for. This is big, bold and brash Metal that owes as much to Manowar and Conan, (not the band though), as it does to European Epic Power Metal.

However; although the Power Metal aspect of Heroes of Vallentor’s sound is there, it’s not that large compared to the gritty and unpolished Heavy Metal that makes up the main part of their music. This is real Metal made my men who carry swords and axes to the supermarket.

The music is solid and played well. Leads and solos come and go and the riffs are Metal to the core. There are some catchy moments and lots of hooks to ensnare the unwary.

Each of the songs has clearly had a lot of thought put into it with the music the backdrop for the epic saga the band are spinning. The musicians attack their muse with passion as the tale unfolds.

The sound is warm and satisfying; gritty and raw but well-rounded and full nonetheless.

The singer tends to alternate between rough cleans and histrionic wailing. It does the job and ticks all of the right buttons for this kind of music.

At 56 minutes in length this is a long album, but if you’re in the mood for bravado and epic, heroism then these are the men for you.

It’s a very rough and ready album and certainly won’t appeal to everyone as this is a very niche form of music really. I can’t help but find it endearing however, and if you aren’t completely adverse to this kind of thing I suggest you check them out and make your own mind up.