Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Trials – In The Shadow Of Swords
It's just so hard to please some people, especially when they aren't sure what they want. Take my friend Ray for example. He was complaining that his life was kind of dull and he needed some excitement. I happen to have a pretty good idea of what is exciting to me, but I guess I should have thought that whole evening through a little more. I mean, yeah, I should have asked if he had any food allergies before we ate that sushi off of the stripper. But I don't think you can blame me that he clenched up so tight on those anal beads. Hell, I wasn't even in the room. And the ER doc said his allergic reaction would clear up quickly and hopefully unclench things in the nether regions in the near future. I just wish he would return my calls now.
Anyway, you're probably wondering what that has to do with music. I'm not sure either, except I was kind of going for the idea that Trials has a lot to offer in terms of trying to please metal fans. Their press release describes them as “modern metal” and I guess that works as well as anything. They are another band, like many I have reviewed lately, who don't really fit into a nice, neat little metal sub genre. Painting in very broad strokes, I would call them a thrash band, but you'd have to take “thrash” as defined by Metallica moving from the Black album onward.
Certainly, album opener “Conjoined” is thrashtastic and shows what this band could do if they wanted to stay in the narrow confines of the genre. But these guys are much more than a thrash band. If ever there was a band that you could just point to as an example of being a “metal” band, without there being any further genrefication, it would be this band. Take “Upon This Day”, which is every bit the thrash/metal hybrid epic that the aforementioned Metallica showed the world on “...And Justice For All”, taking the basics of thrash but expanding the foundation and stretching the genre to the point of bursting and becoming something else.
There is some really exemplary music here. I enjoy the singing a lot, which might be an odd thing to say of a metal band. There is some good clean, melodic singing along with some definite metal growling, but it is all decipherable, and it is nice to understand some metal lyrics for a change. The band shows a great sense of melody in general, and again, nothing wrong with having some melody in a metal band. While the songs are fairly long, most of them clocking in over five minutes, it never seems to drag, you never think that there are sections of songs that don't seem to be there. That is not an easy task and Trials pull it off very well.
And just because I like the clean singing and sense of melody doesn't mean that this band doesn't drop the hammer. “Embracing Nothing” is full of menace and brutality and feels just like I imagine it would be like to be hit by Thor's hammer. “Blueprints Of Metaphor” gallops right along as well and shows more of the speedy, brutal side of the band.
All in all, this is a fantastic album and one that I would highly recommend. This is a band at the top of their game, and they bring a lot of variety to what they do. This is an excellent example of a band that is not afraid to take some risks and show what they are capable of, and we are the winners when we hear the end result.
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