Black Trip – “Shadowline” (Steamhammer / SPV)
If you like taking a trip back to the old school then this rocking metallic jolly courtesy of ex-Nifelheim, ex-Necophobic and Enforcer members really goes beyond the black! Anyone expecting anything remotely close to those previous bands can take a walk, but the extremity is still there – in the sheer range of 70s heavy rock and early 80s metal that you’ll find inherent in the 11 tracks making up this excellent blast to the past. Early Kiss, Thin Lizzy, Montrose, early Maiden….the list is endless as Joseph Tholl does an excellent job vocally, at times hinting of Phil Lynott, whilst at others blatantly Paul Stanley and even Sammy Hagar – not bad at all for a Swedish dude! If that isn’t enough then the dual guitars of Peter Stjärnvind and Sebastian Ramstedt really show what this album is made of – plenty of timeless power grooves and catchy warbling riffs, adventurous breaks and needless to say, heaps of classic soloing that all pay homage to the sound of an era where everything played to excess was de rigueur as if dictated by the rock gods themselves! Call it tacky, call it passé, but to the seasoned connoisseur songs like the Lizzy swank of ‘Berlin Model 32’ and the made-by-Maiden ‘Clockworks’ were what all the excitement was about for generations of rockers back then. My personal fave ‘Over The Worldly Walls’, brings back all the memories of those early Kiss stadium shaking shows with anthemic singalong choruses that would stay with you long after the show was over so I have to give Black Trip the kudos they deserve. With my new hero Nicke Andersson (Entombed, Hellacopters, Imperial State Electric) perfectly capturing both the sound and the essence of what these guys are all about on this more diverse, yet bigger album, all that’s left to say is – Spinal Tap, eat your heart out!