Speedtrap: Powerdose

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Speedtrap: Powerdose
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Outer Gods: Light Dims Eternal
Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal
Svart Records
August 23rd, 2013
Release length: 29:27
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Speedtrap formed in 2007, but you would swear it were the early eighties at the latest. This Lappeenranta, Finland based Speed/Heavy Metal group has been picked up by Svart Records to issue their début full-length album, Powerdose. It follows their 2008 demo Heavy Metal Raid, the Raw Deal EP in 2009, and 2010’s split with Death with a Dagger. This first full fledged recording clocks in at just under thirty minutes of vintage metal worship, but does it stand as a quality album, or is it nothing but cliché revivalist tactics?

The moment “Redemption of Might” kicks in, you’re met with a classic introductory build of fast drum bursts that give way to held guitar notes before the song officially kicks right in. The faster riffs and well paced drumming are cloaked with energy, and the vocals match the enthusiasm perfectly despite sounding more like something that would better fit an edgier Hard Rock album, an influence that does show from time to time. Because of that, right away you’ll pick up on one key element missing from this cut, and its the lack of falsettos in key tense spots, or even something with a little more of a push behind it. That issue aside, it’s a solid track of early Heavy Metal and Speed Metal worship full of catchy riffs that have you banging your head along, and a superb transition into the thrashier “Take Their Lives.” The vocals show that extra push here in all the right spots, and the somewhat technical riffs against a faster pace, as well as some spots that throw in a bit of an early Punk influence really amp up the adrenaline and hostility, even with the crisp, almost Glam Rock production quality.

“Battle Cry” has a catchy gallop to the thick click of the bass kicks, and an overall upbeat tone that screams somewhat radio friendly eighties Metal like Set the World on Fire by Annihilator. The bass provides a nice backbone, though seems like a simple riff ly repeated against the technical lead chords, leaving you wanting a little more from it such as during the guitar solo. And then there’s “Out of Time, Out of Line,” which has a nice controlled chugging presence that takes on a bit of an eighties Rock vibe. You can still feel the energy in the music, but the vocals are a bit too over-the-top for this song in the main verses, but thankfully tone down a bit in the chorus for the sake of the melody that it carries. This is also the longest track, but much of it focuses on the music towards the end by simply extending the already catchy conclusion without making it feel like padding or filler.

Powerdose is far from a bad album, and while it isn’t unique, they manage to blend together so many styles into a kick ass cohesive album that it is a bit stunning to hear. This effort spans eighties Hard Rock, a bit of Punk, Speed Metal, Heavy Metal, and Thrash Metal, all handled in a high speed and insanely infectious manner. Almost each track seems to flow smoothly from one another, as if this were a live performance from start to finish in the studio, though that does die off by the last few tracks. Aside that, the recording is rather crisp, and at times it does feel like the band is being a bit too radio friendly. Overall, Speedtrap may not be the voice anything new, but clearly are doing what they love. For their first album, Powerdowse will thrash your skull in, and have you coming back for more.

01. Redemption of Might – 2:51
02. Take Their Lives – 3:34
03. Ready to Strike – 3:38
04. Out of Time, Out of Line – 5:16
05. Powerdose – 3:03
06. Battle Cry – 4:01
07. Reckless Endagerment – 4:03
08. No Sympathy – 3:01
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Speedtrap (band)

Digital review copy of this release provided by Svart Records.