Sometimes it is easy to get lost among the weeds when trying to plan out the perfect playlist to adorn one’s day. As having personally ventured far off the beaten path in the pursuit of discovering new gems of value, pure Heavy Metal done well has become like comfort food in my musical diet. As the only kid in class – ever- with a Venom shirt, my youth was spent daydreaming about the heady glory days of Metal. With a short, sweet two-song EP, Sweden’s Trial manage to tap into that vibrant wellspring of energy and freedom that set the tone for so many of the Metal moments we now deem as classic.
It really is hard to deny the intrinsic celebratory nature on this too-brief EP comprised of signature renditions of time-honored classics from within the annals of Rock history. Beginning with a stunning version of the Fleetwood Mac track, “Sisters of the Moon,” Trial has rerecorded an anthem for the ages. In a climate mired with the dystopian outlook presented daily in the media, Trial succeeds in helping the world forget its current woes. What more can we truly ask from Rock ‘n Roll? Bearing little resemblance to the original, Trial injects vital oxygen into the mix via upbeat blazing guitar virtuosity. Think Thin Lizzy with just a light touch of hairspray. In fact, the guitar performance itself rings through and through with the indelible influence of the great John Sykes, blazing molten Metal churning with the legacy of the Blues. Listening to such musical nirvana (note the lower case), one begins to forget all about the aberrations appearing in the ensuing decades – Nu-Metal, Emo, Deathcore. No, this is pure, fist-pumping Heavy Metal glorifying the very tropes so often misunderstood by outsiders yet embraced by the initiated. Heavy Metal is alive and well in 2021. With Trial, it is in excellent hands, a promising outlook for future headbanging anthems to come!
The second of the pair of covers presented here is a daring one indeed. True, many bands have run the risk of treading into the sacred waters of Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi though few have managed to retain the original feel while also elaborating the song with a personal touch that effectively toes the line between too hands-off and the other extreme of too intrusive. Trial has evidently learned from those slew of bands’ past mistakes for theirs is a powerful take, one that is a true homage to the classic from Heaven and Hell. The productions absolutely nailed the monolithic guitar tone, dynamic percussion, and prolific bass playing of the original. It would be appropriate to now mention that this EP marks the debut of the band’s new frontman, Arthur W. Andersson who takes the ball and runs with it, fully embracing his inner Dio. In no way is he ever trying to replicate the immortal singer’s style, but rather, his own vocal range compliments the song with its unique timbre being the element that truly solidifies the cover as nothing short of epic.
When inundated with new music that often seems to disappoint, it is rare to wish for an album to be longer. Such is not the case with Sisters of the Moon, though. In fact, I listened to it dozens of times in preparation for writing this, each time noticing another musical flourish I had previously missed. The future is wide open for this band for theirs is a style that appeals to the classic elements of the genre while still offering new shades of color of their own.