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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Trail of Murder

Shades of Art

Review by Gary Hill

This is a pretty awesome metal album. The sound is generally in the neighborhood of modern melodic metal, but there are variants within that sound. I’d say that for the most part it avoids feeling redundant or stale, despite the fact that it could use a little more variety. It’s definitely an accessible and effective heavy metal disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Shades of Art

This pounds in with some serious metal. As it works out to the verses, it has more of a mainstream hard rock element to it. This is a killer tune with some great changes and a lot of energy.

Carnivore
Much heavier, this doesn’t sacrifice melody for that heaviness. It’s a smoking hot tune that really rocks.
Lady Don't Answer
This power metal tune has a lot of character. It’s melodic and yet also somewhat brutal and extreme in some ways.
Mab
This starts tentatively, but when it really fires out it rocks like crazy. The vocals make me think of Dio at times here. This is one of the coolest cuts here. In some ways it’s less mainstream, but it’s still hook-laden. I really like the guitar soloing on this and just the general guitar presence.
I Know Shadows
I’m reminded a bit of early Queensryche on this number. It’s another smoking hot rocker, despite starting more as a power ballad. This album shows no signs of letting up on quality or intensity.
Your Silence
More melodic power metal is the order of business here. I really love some of the riffs that drive this. The tune really rocks. The guitar solo is particularly tasty, too.
Higher
There’s a lot of energy and power to this cut. Overall, the musical concept isn’t drastically changed, but this is a real screamer and never feels redundant.
The Song You Never Sang
This powers in heavy and modern in sound, but moves out to more melodic power metal from there. The vocals on this are quite strong.
Nightmares I Stole
Another aggressive power metal tune, this one has some great instrumental melodies that prevent it from feeling redundant, even though the formula is seriously at risk of running thin by now.
Child of Darkest Night
A wave of vocals opens this and they pound out from there. Some interesting shifts and changes emerge on this beast.
Some Stand Alone
Here we get another aggressive power metal tune. By this point, the formula is definitely getting stretched thin. This is a good number, but not good enough to really stand tall amongst all the similar music. The guitar solo section, though, does manage to elevate the cut a bit.
My Heart Still Cries
They put in the most “different” track here. This is more of a progressive metal tune with mellower, more melodic sounds. It’s a cool one. Personally, I think I would have swapped this with the previous one to lend the variety earlier and end on a harder rocker, but it works.

 

 
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