BlackTOriginally released last year on vinyl, Sweden’s Black Trip for me personally were a great underground find. Their first 7 inch record ‘Tvar Dabla’ is still in demand and it’s increasingly hard to find now. Occult heavy metal in the vein of the early 80’s and late 70’s is the format for this release. Rather than being totally retro rock, Black Trip encompass influences such as Mercyful Fate/E.F. Band, The Scorpions, first two album Iron Maiden and a huge plethora of bands of a similar ilk (some of the bands mentioned here are in fact noted in the PR material). Some warming melodies flow in the first few tracks that actually remind me of Thin Lizzy, especially ‘Radar’, but it’s not until ‘No Tomorrow’ that the more sinister sounds come to pass. Then if you wait for the track ‘Tvar Dabla’ which engages “the night of the living dead”, then you get more of those aforementioned Danish legends influence, especially the guitar work, although the vocals are in a more palatable non-falsetto range courtesy of Joseph Tholl (guitarist of Swedish band Enforcer). Essentially Black Trip has two former Nifelheim members, two current Enforcer (Swe) members and founder Peter Stjarnvind (who also is the drummer of both Krux and Pest).

More of those classic first two album Maiden-isms come out during ‘The Bells’ and ‘Thirst’ which highlights some great guitar work. The difference is the vocal tones, these are not so raw, they sound warm but are rather cool and provide depth to the Black Trip sound. All in all, Black Trip are making their own version of some really cool music, peppered with influences from around Europe and the album stays clear of the pure retro vibe and attack that some bands go for.

With such a vast array of music on offer honed into their near vintage sound, Black Trip present an album that sounds timeless, it’s a pleasure to listen to and proof that extremity is not what is required to produce an album that stands out from the crowd.

(8/10 Paul Maddison)