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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Reviews: Triaxis

Triaxis: Zero Hour (Rocksector)

Welsh metal band Triaxis are technically the MoM house band (though they may disagree I'm sure). I discovered them a fair few years ago and I've slowly introduced all the members with each one of them being won over by the bands immense stage presence and great songs. So yes we all follow this band but for me especially the forthcoming release of their third album was much anticipated. As the digital version of the album that I pledged for arrived on my Pledge Music page (Yep crowd funded in record time folks!) it was downloaded immediately and the played repeatedly upon arrival to; one to learn the songs for their album launch show this Friday, two to get the best review possible for you the discerning reader and three rock out to one of the best bands on the UK scene.

So album three what's itall about? Taking a leaf out of Mr Hutchings' book I decided to dedicate this one blog to the album in order to give a comprehensive overview of the album in full. So as I turned the volume up to beyond my normal settings (a band like this needs to be played on or near 11) I pressed play the album started and with no pre amble it was straight into riffs from the outset. First song Liberty has a guitar driven, building intro echoing the classic thrash era before exploding into ultra quick thrash metal riffage from CJ and Glyn the twin axe attack; as frontwoman Krissie croons with her powerful lyrics. The song moves along at pace like the golden age of thrash replete with gang shout vocals on the chorus. The album has a theme of rebellion with many of the tracks dealing with struggle and overcoming adversity which gives it a loose concept and leads neatly into the punishing razor sharp riffs of Death Machine which features some death vocals from guitarist Glyn and superior drumming from Giles (and his resplendent beard), the riffage of Glyn and CJ is more akin to the recent NWOAHM bringing in a modern metal sound of Machine Head or Trivium. Ministry Of Truth is an Orwellian influenced tale with a more progressive delivery yet maintaining the modern metal tendencies with a mid song breakdown before a lighting fast solo from the fleet fingered Glyn whose solos shine throughout on this album.

The Modern metal influence takes a back seat and we move straight into Maiden territory for the Sci-Fi space opera of Terraform which has all the hallmarks of a Maiden tale having Steve Harris' treasured backing whoa's and as with many of 'Arry's finest it deals with a story; this one being the loneliness of space travel and has the man himself's big bass sound from new girl Becky that anchors the track perfectly. From there we go diving head first into the first longer track and one that once again gets fists pumping with its classic metal nod. Dying Sun is the perfect sequel to the proceeding track as it follows the Sci-Fi theme and makes a mean a mid-album concept one-two. This track especially really shows off Krissie's impressive vocal range, she can really belt out theses songs as well as soften her vocal when she needs to to bring emotion to tracks. Not needed on the next track Victorious however as this is the sound to an invasion spearheaded by the band and one that will have Joey DeMaio and co quaking their boots as Krissie gets into her Amazonian Queen mode in chest beating style backed by the speed of Glyn and CJ's shredding, Becky's bass rumble and Giles' machine gun drumming. Back to the old school with some 80's motorbiking music on Stand Your Ground. This is the kind of sound that Priest, Saxon et al used to make back in the day and will get many an old rocker nodding heads. An uplifting raise your fist in the air and shout metal with twin axe attack and plenty of guts backing it.

We go back into Maiden territory on Queen Of The Iceni this track is stuffed full of the historical lyrics Maiden have always relied upon. In this case we are drawn to the story of Celtic warrior queen Boudicca; with the historical lyrics, meeting the galloping metal that moves and twists its time signatures like a Maiden epic. The band have also thrown a little folk metal (see Blind Guardian) on this track to flesh things out a little casting their net a little wider and sounding all the better for it. This is a cracking powerful track which is great for history buffs like me. Back to the more modern sounding thrash, on End Of Time, driven by rapid drums and searing riffage before building at the end into a solo and a piano led break, before things resume with the speed and passion of the early part of the track. Each song sounds huge due to the production of the band's guitarist Glyn and James Stephenson at Stymphalian studios, they produced the band's last album as well and makes this album sound huge, strident and as the song has says Victorious! The drums are recorded and mixed by Scott Adkins who has worked with Sylosis, Cradle Of Filth and Savage Messiah and he makes our man behind the kit sound like a thunderstorm in a power station. From power to a poignant reminder of those lost in the field of battle on Lest We Forget. The stirring lyrics are backed by some muscular musical backing. The song was particularly resonant as I was listening to this album not long removed from the 70th anniversary of VE day.

The next track Voices is the penultimate on the album and blows away any lingering thoughts of sadness by rampaging along like a psycho on a killing spree, which surprisingly is also the lyrical content as well. The album closes in style with a 10 minute epic in the shape of the title track Zero Hour. This final blast of Welsh heavy metal, balances light and shade throughout moving between slow and fast time signatures, balancing fury with finesse and even expanding the musical palette more by bringing in acoustic guitars in the intro that build the drama and pathos before adding keys to make it sound very cinematic. It's after this slow burn build that we get CJ and Glyn shredding like hell in the metallic bulk of the songs main body while the rhythm section bring everything together and set the pace throughout. This track yet again brings more thrashy heavy metal to the table albeit this time with an apocalyptic bent ending the album in suitably grandiose style.

So then Zero Hour is yet another fantastic addition to the bands catalogue and the perfect follow up to their last album Rage And Retribution. The band are only on their third album and yet they effortlessly merge classic and modern metal, perfectly blending melody and aggression through passionate and professional performances. All of this then melds together to create songs that are made to be played loudly and repeatedly. With Zero Hour they have not only added yet more anthems to their live set they have also crafted an album that could well be the first step towards world domination!! 10/10

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