Lords of the Trident - Frostburn - (7.5/10)
Published on May 31, 2015
When a band enters the scene with an album title such as Death or Sandwich and at least part of it shows up in costumes, they either are making a statement or are undermining their credibility from the get-go. Lords of the Trident from Madison, Wisconsin, were said band and while the musical content managed to convince most fans, it reeks of potential self-sabotage, if a band has to put fans through doubt and skepticism to get to that point. Frostburn is their third album, out via Killer Metal Records, and both the outstanding cover artwork and to good parts also the lyrical direction hint at a less parodic and a bit more serious approach, basically continuing the evolution started with 2013’s Plan of Attack EP.
Firmly rooted at the cross section between US power metal and traditional, NWoBHM influenced heavy metal of the 80s, opener “Knights of Dragon’s Deep” unites all of the band’s trademarks and strengths in one nice package, great vocals, a gripping chorus, tight riffing and dynamics, lending the band the authenticity many bands strive for, but ultimately fail. And this seriousness definitely shows that there is a lot of substance hidden underneath these costumes and attire.
The super harmonic guitars of “The Longest Journey” make it an insanely catchy, but never shallow, track, whereas “Winds of the Storm” and “Den of the Wolf” add a few notches and closing “Shattered Skies” is a grandiosely epic and very dynamic closer to finish off an album that shows a few dryer spells in the middle (from “Manly Witness” to “Kill to Die” to be precise), where they have good moments and ideas, but don’t quite manage to keep things up at the same level.
Lords of the Trident are part of a movement in the US that brings back the heavy/power metal of the 80s and make it relevant again, not by just blindly regurgitating the old sound, but bringing it back, making it sound fresh and exciting again and yes, going through all of the cliches, but it doesn’t matter, because it just fits! Just earlier this year, Utah’s Visigoth delivered a crushing debut album with their The Revenant King and while Frostburn doesn’t quite manage to keep the same level, they still are a serious contender that will quench the thirst of any parched traditionalist. All hail the Lords!