Released by: Threeman/ Playground
Released date: 28 August 2015 (General Release), 4 September 2015 (US)
Genre: Heavy Metal
Peter Stjärnvind – Guitar
Joesph Tholl – Vocals
Sebastian Ramstedt – Guitar
Johan Bergebäck – Bass
Jonas Wikstrand – Drums
01. Die With Me
04. Berlin Model 32
05. Over The Worldly Walls
08. Subvisual Sleep
10. The Storm
11. Coming Home
Two years on from their first album release Goin’ under, Black Trip are about to unleash a new venture with their latest album Shadowline. Being new to this band and even more so unfamiliar with their music I was excited to hear what this group of guys had to offer.
With this 11 track record, we get to hear what vocalist Joseph Tholl describes as ‘Bigger, more diverse and more personal’. I definitely have to agree with the latter statement as this album sticks to its Heavy Metal roots with new and exciting twists for the guys. From reading the biography of this band I understand that this album has a lot of influences both from other artists and also from each other’s musicianship. A positive quality that any album needs in order to thrive, one made with thought and passion makes for a fantastic listen. Shadowline is certainly capable of this. I hear some similarities to the well-known Rock N’ Roll act ‘Thin Lizzy’. Maybe it’s the vocal performance, the guitar harmonies or even the production but either way, I’m impressed.
This is raw, groovy, riff driven and guitar led Heavy Metal.
As I listened to this album I pin pointed ‘Danger’ as a stand out track. This has got to be a current favourite in terms of twin guitar performance on this album. ‘Danger’ ends on a fantastically built solo that fades out and perfectly allows the title track ‘Shadowline’ to start with a somewhat acapella section featuring a bare minimum instrumental exposing vocalist Joseph and allowing an audience connection with the band through the feelings accompanied with these song lyrics. All of this and more before Black Trip kick back in with hard riffs and pounding drums producing the Metal sounds this band do so effortlessly well.
Throughout Shadowline you can really hear the growth of the band and the excellent pairing of twin lead guitars from Peter and Sebastian. This is a successful guitar driven album that hooks the listener from the get go. More pleasingly the vocals mix from subtle and passionate to in our face grunge screams and it works. This gives the band chance to really capture a different audience and appeal to more than one sub – genre, a clever move when you are a touring band as these guys are meaning, you can adapt your style live and it would be considered a must. This means that vocally the singer can play around with different styles and really adapt and better themselves as an artist. This band are smart to consider this. Hearing that every member of Black Trip contributed to this album both structure and sound wise makes for an even better true-to-self outcome. What you see and what you hear is what you get with this band, no fooling around no gimmicks just Heavy Metal.
Listening to the details within the guitar structures I notice another particular influence to ‘Blue Oyster Cult’. An album filled with energy and flowing artistry, Shadowline continues with great tracks such as ‘Clockworks’ and ‘Subvisual Sleep’ with a 48 second track entitled ‘Rooms’ in between these. This is quite a haunting section of guitar playing perhaps to fill the gaps or to create a visual story. Either way it’s nothing that I haven’t heard before from the likes of Lizzy and Dio but it still works.
Black Trip are a good band with lots of potential and Shadowline reflects this. It’s what you’d expect a Rock band to produce.
Written by: Alex Alicia Firth
Ratings: Alex Alicia 7/10