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Dream Tröll - Second To None

Dream Tröll
Second To None
by Joseth Radiant at 22 July 2019, 2:13 AM

DREAM TROLL is a five-piece outfit from Leeds, UK that flies under the banner of NWOTHM. Founded in 2015, and following with 2017’s “The Knight Of Rebellion”, this group reminds us all that Heavy Metal is supposed to fun and funny as well as being something somber and serious. This reviewer at first was tempted to rake them across the coals creatively, however, the music video to “Chrome Skull Viper” displays the band’s sense of humor on display helped make sense of the music and lyrics. If DREAM TROLL isn’t asking the listener to the music too seriously, then it’s very easy to relax and have fun with it. Also, Paul Walsh on vocals and Paul Thornton on bass guitar are the newest additions to the band, and both help to fill out the lineup perfectly.

“Second To None” opens with “Steel Winged Warrior” which is the strongest song on the album and defines the sound and tone for the remaining songs. Credit goes to the entire band throughout this album because all of the performances on each of the songs are top-notch. Matt Baldwinson’s lead guitar work on here is jaw-dropping and more than a few times, his flair and technique really reminds the listener of Steve Vai, and his engineering muscles are showing quite a bit of flex with the way that you can easily listen to each instrument being played without straining one’s ears. The synthesizer work on this album is also a nice touch and helps make the mix sound full and complete. Tony Lindgren of Fascination Street Studios’ mastering skills (which are outright fabulous) also help to bring out the best of each of the tracks.

Another fact that is a welcome sight to see is that both Matt and Paul Carter are using seven-string guitars to make this music. It’s a refreshing touch to a scene where six-string guitars are dominating the musical landscape. They both utilize the low end of their instruments without their playing coming off as cliché for those who use a seven-string guitar. Overall, the band has found its sound and its image. Some of the critiques that can be made are that the songs and the tempos hardly vary throughout the album, as well as the lyrics coming off slightly phoned-in at times. Also, there were more than a few moments where this reviewer had the feeling of “OK, c’mon, we get it. The song is over. Just finish the song.”

DREAM TROLL would benefit from having a producer to help take their sound from where it is currently to having it be refined and a bit more streamlined, however, for this group to have such a well-crafted sound and having released only two full-length records is testament to the band’s hard work and dedication to the power and the glory and the lifestyle that is Heavy Metal. So, if you’re looking for an album that’s all about having a blast while you and your mates are headbanging in your battle vests after drinking a few beers, look no further than “Second To None”. It’s a fun album to listen to, and as long as you remember that it’s meant to be a lot of fun, then you can indeed enjoy this album. And yes, as always, Buy This Album!

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Steel Winged Warrior
2. I Will Not Die Today
3. The Lawmaker
4. Chrome Skull Viper
5. The Art Of Death
6. Darkness Lies Within The Sun
7. Checkmate…Annihilate!
8. Legion
Lineup:
Matt Baldwinson - Lead Guitar
Paul Carter - Guitar
Simon Blakelock - Drums
Paul Walsh - Vocals
Paul Thornton - Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 18 August 2019
 

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