Trial (swe) - Motherless album review

Swedish metallers caught in classic vs progressive conundrum

Cover art for Trial (swe) - Motherless album

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Trial, Portrait and In Solitude were all were formed in central Sweden around the mid-00s by youngsters with roots in extreme metal yet desperate to relink themselves with the Mercyful Fate-pioneered, operatic sound of the 80s. But whereas Portrait welded themselves to Judas Priest and In Solitude got their goth on before imploding, Trial – or Trial (swe) as they’re known due to copyright reasons – fall in between. Motherless stands at the crossroad between the epic heavy metal of their 2011 The Primordial Temple debut and the progressive endeavours of its 2015 follow-up, Vessel. Complex yet oozing with a sense of menace, the material that falls in that second category – such as the highly atmospheric Birth and the epic title-track ballad – is ambitious and far more subtle than it first seems, despite the peculiar high-pitched voice of Linus Johansson. But the few more traditional tracks feel as though they’re still paying off earlier debts. Once they free themselves from their Oedipus complex, Trial (swe) will be on to something.