Metal Review – Black Trip: Goin’ Under

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Metal Review – Black Trip: Goin’ Under
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Black Trip: Goin' Under
Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Prosthetic Records (2014), Threeman Records
October 23rd, 2013 / August 19th, 2014
Release length: 35:31
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Black Trip initially formed back in 2003 by ex-Entombed and Merciless drummer (though handling guitars for this project) Peter Stjärnvind, but was put on hold until 2011 when he met up with Enforcer and Corrupt vocalist Joseph Tholl. A demo was recorded that year, and since then Nifelheim and former Exhumed members Sebastion Ramstedt and Johan Bergebäck, the latter also bassist of Dismember, as well as drummer Jonas Wikstrand, another piece of Enforcer, all joined the fold. It didn’t take long before the band found themselves on Threeman Records to issue their debut album Goin’ Under for a late 2013 release. But is it something worth taking note of, or is this just another Rock revival entry destined to get lost among the crowd, even with Prosthetic Records picking it up for North American distribution?

Goin’ Under is a mixture of seventies to eighties Hard Rock some Metal leads and hooks in the more enthusiastic passages, complimented with a fairly standard analog quality against a good number of songs fit for radio air play back in the day. The mid-range hum of the bass guitar on “Radar” sounds great with the upbeat hooks of the main verses, making it hard to resist moving your head along to the riffs as it builds to a faster Speed Metal burst that hits at the start of the solid guitar solo. Even though it has that rawer quality, the song is as sleek as it possibly could be. Had this been a little cleaner overall it easily would fit in with an Enforcer or Katana album. “Putting Out the Fire” is a bit toned down, yet carries just as many catchy riffs. The difference is how laid back the music itself comes off. The vocals also drop some of the rougher harmonizations and enthusiastic heights, making it carry a genuinely eighties back alley vibe with a nice amount of emotion. The end result is a performance that is completely relaxing that you will immediately fall in love with.

While there’s a number of solid cuts like those above, there are a few that don’t quite have the same impact. “Voodoo Queen” carries a subtle epic touch in the days of NWOBHM material in the main verses. The lack of richer material makes it come through a little less engaging than the chorus and just how much the tambourine and some stronger hooks help to hold your attention. “Thirst” starts off a bit rough in it’s eccentric manner, building yet another subtle grandiose world that grows into a traditional Rock and Heavy Metal exploration from an Alice Cooper style opening. Then there’s “The Bells.” The short track length relies a lot on the drumming, which doesn’t really help fill the emptiness that becomes more apparent as you continue through. Even the chorus and guitar solos just seem weak overall.

Goin’ Under isn’t necessarily a bad album overall. In fact when the music is rich and energetic you can’t help but immediately get wrapped up in the performances. The main issue is the analog audio quality causes a few tracks to sound empty and get old surprisingly quick. Had this been handled a little better, or even dropped all together seeing as its presence this time around clearly feels more like a gimmick than it does anything that truly benefits the album, we would have been blessed with a far richer experience. Goin’ Under is worth checking out, and since Prosthetic Records has picked it up for distribution in North America, fans of classic Rock and Heavy Metal won’t have to shell out the extra cash to import it.

01. Voodoo Queen – 3:48
02. Radar – 3:15
03. Putting Out the Fire – 3:50
04. No Tomorrow – 5:20
05. Tvar Dabla – 4:35
06. The Bells – 2:51
07. Thirst – 6:08
08. Goin’ Under – 5:44
Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10

Black Trip
Black Trip

Digital review copy of this release provided by Prosthetic Records.