Trail Of Murder - 'Shades Of Art'

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Trail Of Murder - 'Shades Of Art'

Metal fans should don their bulletproof vests and follow this Trail of Murder.

This particular Trail of Murder will lead you to Bollnäs in Sweden. If this isn’t a big enough clue then if I tell you the band features ex-members of Tad Morose, Morgana Lefay and Bloodbound that should give you an indication of the direction of the music; it’s power metal that combines metal force with melodic nous. It’s less thrashy in character than Tad Morose and has less of the obvious Iron Maiden influence Bloodbound has.

Lead singer (for it is he) Urban Breed’s distinctive vocals are the draw for everyone who likes the bands mentioned above. Breed commands this record. His voice is a cut above most power metal growlers. Although he has a suitably macho rasp in places, “spitting venomous spit” as the lyrics go on ‘Mab’, he can also sing, and I mean really sing, in a higher register. His flexible voice makes for some glorious vocal harmonies that add some extra oomph to the choruses. Jonas Kjellgren’s (Sonic Syndicate) production is excellent. It has a polished, heavy, yet crystal clear sound and you can see why the Metal Heaven label snapped them up as their sound is able to encompass metal and melodic rock without compromising one or the other.

The first three tracks off the record are about the best of the lot; ‘Shades Of Art’ is well-structured with interesting lyrics, ‘Carnivore’ has (excuse the pun) a meaty hook and the chugging power metal of ‘Lady Don’t Answer’, again with a memorable hook, shows guitarists Olsson and Eismar can shred like demons. While ‘I Know Shadows’ and ‘Your Silence’ are decent, they don’t offer the thrills of what’s gone before but the mightily catchy ‘Higher’ and ‘Nightmare I Stole’ are also killer. The closing song ‘My Heart still Tries’ is a slow burner that shows so many sides to Breed’s voice you might think he’s duetting.

With Breed’s voice, the solid, experienced line-up and some superior tunes, the band have enough of their own character to make them stand out in power metal circles. Metal fans should don their bulletproof vests and follow this Trail of Murder.

Duncan Jamieson

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