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Molten Trail – Striving For The Sky

Molten Trail
Striving For The Sky
by Andrew Sifari at 26 December 2014, 3:06 PM

Masterminded by keyboardist Vytautas Diðkevièius, Heavy/Progressive Metal band MOLTEN TRAIL represent all that is powerful and heavy on their debut release, “Striving For The Sky.” It’s a neat mix of Classic, riff-driven Heavy Metal with progressive and neoclassical elements, with a consistently emphatic presentation.
The more adventurous musical moments, most often a product of Diðkevièius’s inventive keyboard playing, serve as an interesting counterpoint to the 80’s inspired, mid-paced Metal monsters that comprise the album’s eight songs. Just when you’re sure you can pin down the band’s sound, which draws as much from the sounds of bands like DOKKEN and KAMELOT, they throw in a slight curve to keep you on your toes. The intro to “Heaven Is Too Far” establishes this from the onset, with its disjointed riff/keyboard attack that suddenly give way to an airy, atmospheric main verse. Metal guitar fanatics will be able to appreciate the creative-yet-muscular riffs, as well as the sizzling solos.

Maze Of Forever” continues in a similar mode with its prominent use of keyboards, and the inclusion of piano as a juxtaposition to the heavy riffing and atmospheric effects works nicely. The album features the talents of three different vocalists, but this has little detriment to the consistency of the album’s sound. While they each have their own identifiable approach, they are not too different from each other to disrupt the main musical direction. Personally, I felt like the deep baritone of Erik Blomkvist works the best within the context of the music, though each vocalist does a fine job in their own right. They suit their performance well to whatever mood the music is feeling, from the more dramatic moments to the heavier, brooding sections bolstered by muscular riffs.

At just under 50-minutes, “Striving For The Sky” isn’t the quickest listen, and one of the main things that I got hung up on was the keyboards. They are nearly as much a feature in the music as the riffs are, and while they can be quite entertaining at times, reminding me a bit of “Screams and Whispers” by ANACRUSIS, they can also wear on the patience of people who are more in it for the guitars than anything.

Overall, “Striving For The Sky” makes out as a solid effort that combines familiar Heavy Metal elements with the intricacy of progressive and classical music. It runs the gamut of tones, from somber to downright angry, and manages to provide a number of memorable moments with its strong musicianship, including the triple-vocalist-attack. Anyone who digs 80s Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal, and/or Power Metal should check this one out.

4 Star Rating

1. Heaven Is Too Far
2. Down The Vortex
3. Maze Of Forever
4. Waiting For The Dawn
5. Hopeless. Helpless, Homeless
6. Let My Heart Go Down In Flames
7. Highway Ghost
8. Rise
Erik "Ez" Blomkvist - Vocals (Tracks 1, 6)
Steven Mesropian - Vocals (Tracks 2, 7)
Rob Lundgren - Vocals (Tracks 3, 4, 5, 8)
Martin Miller - Guitar solos (Tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7)
Rick Lang – Drums
Vytautas Diðkevièius - Keyboards, Guitars, Bass
Record Label: Heart Of Steel Records


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