Shadows From The Past is the fourth studio album from Lords of the Trident, who, on the face of it, you would expect to hail from Scandinavia but in fact come from Madison, Wisconsin.
To me, they’re a power metal band with hints of symphonics going on. A heady, and enjoyable, mix.
Whilst their image is of tongue-in-cheek piss-taking of the sword and sorcery arm of metal, the songs are all seriously performed and delivered with intent. Take lead vocalist Fang VonWrathenstein for example. His Facebook history states that he “was born when a volcano containing metal and steel erupted at the beginning of time” (you get the picture) yet when it comes the tracks themselves he delivers a vocal performance of strength, power and no piss-taking in sight. In fact, read the band’s whole history, it reads like a Game of Thrones novel….
“Death Dealer” opens proceedings in truly pompous fashion with Fang treating us to a scream which could raise a Viking god from his slumber. There’s pace aplenty and a scorching extended solo to top it all, a marvellous start.
Such pomposity is, thankfully, not quite repeated through the rest of the album. Instead, there is an amount of variety to keep us very much interested. There is a great rhythmic riff to open “Zero Hour” and VonWrathenstein turns in a powerful performance. Aiding him in his work are Baron Taurean Helleshaar on lead guitar, Asian Metal also on lead guitar, Pontifex Mortis on bass and Master “Herc” Hercule Schlagzeuger on drums. Great names all, and all put in top performances.
Fang is once again at the forefront of proceedings on “Tormentor” with the music taking much of a back seat, until the guitar break which is interesting in its construction.
“Burn It Down (With Fire)” features Brittney Slayes of Unleash The Archers fame and her vocals really bring something to the party. Brittney gives it everything she’s got and the track is a real winner. Check out a the video for the track below.
“Figaro” is the album’s ‘epic’ track clocking on at over 7 minutes and easily lives up to that billing.
Starting with an emotive solo the track begins in thoughtful fashion with delicate vocals and guitaring. The song builds to tell a tale of rebuilding and standing together, a real fist-pumper. Messrs Helleshaar and Metal are on top form taking us through a bulk of the song in solo-tastic fashion.
I don’t know what “The Party Has Arrived” is meant to achieve but 49 seconds of medieval chamber music doesn’t really bring much to said party.
Remember when I said “Death Dealer” wouldn’t be matched for pomposity? It appears I lied. Big time. “Brothers of Cain” is every bit as outrageous, but good fun all the same.
Normal service is resumed with “Reaper’s Hourglass”, another strong song with varying elements to enjoy.
“Chasing Shadows” is somewhat of a curiosity as it invokes memories of 1980’s mid-range unremarkable rockers like Mr Big, which Lords of the Trident don’t really deserve. Sorry guys.
Momentum is not regained with “The Nameless Tomb” which plods a bit but then we’re treated to a big finish on “The Gatekeeper”. Romping riffs are abound and intent is clearly displayed.
A very strong finish to a strong album.
Overall, a very enjoyable album and my message to you is, don’t take too much notice of the Lords of the Trident image, just enjoy Shadows From The Past for the accomplished power metal album it is.
Shadows From The Past is out now on Junko Johnson Records.