Released: 2012, Metal Heaven
My buddy turned me onto this new group in late 2012, just a bit too late for my Top 20, but Trail of Murder would certainly would have been a strong contender. As it stands, it is Jan 2, 2013 as I write my first review of the year and I wanted to start the year off on a positive high-note and review a kick-ass album. The debut album, STATE OF ART by the new Swedish quintet, meets and surpasses the criteria of ' kick-ass'. It came out in October label Metal Heaven that still struggles with decent North American distribution, so lots of Metal fans don't even know about this band, yet.
The cover of the album is a little dull but the production is very good; crisp and clear for this twelve-song release. Trail of Murder is a stellar exams of Melodic Power Metal. I'm not surprised, even before I heard the album I knew it had enormous potential based on the history and calibre of the individual members. The line-up consists of ex-members of Tad Morose, Morgana LeFey and Bloodbound. Guitarist Daniel Olssen rejoins Urban Breed recreating much of the magic they had when they worked together on a string of wonderful Tad Morose albums 10 years ago. Pretty much everything Urban sings on is pure gold, from Bloodbound to Pyramaze he has one of the quintessential Metal voices, and he puts in an excellent performance on this record as well. One of the vocal highlights is the track 'Higher' where he demonstrates his incredible range and power with some mighty screams to end the driving song. The lyrics he delivers are a bit darker as well with songs like, 'I know Shadows', 'Nightmares I Stole' and an album highlight 'Child of Darkest Night'. The album is loaded with chunky riffs, and driving rhythms and the drumming is fast and intense as Pelle Akerlind creates a real sense of momentum on the songs without just double-kicking. The solos are also fast and intense as the pair seem to trade off nicely and add nice little mini-solo flourishes hear and there.
When my buddy told me about Trail Of Murder I asked what they sound like and without a moments hesitation he replied, 'Faster Tad Morose'! Very true and that phrase alone should convince most fans of real Metal to go get this album.