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Trial – Scream For Mercy (Reissue)

Scream For Mercy (Reissue)
by Rachel Montgomery at 05 May 2020, 3:10 PM

TRIAL is a Belgian band from the 1980s, reissuing its only EP, “Scream For Mercy,” with some live tracks. The band formed in 1982, was signed by Whiplash Records, but then split up soon after. Plus, the record label went bankrupt and left the band high and dry for recording costs. Yikes! But after 35 years, their album is back out with some live selections. It’s a conglomerate of power metal influences throughout the EP, but the live tracks take some interesting turns.

The ambient opening of “Victims Of This Earth” reminds me of a spaceship or a cosmic horror film. It sets the film and also sets the tone of the album as a midcentury, seventies inspired piece, especially with the inclusion of pipe organs. “Lord Of Darkness” continues this trend for the first few measures with a shaky snare and an ominous opening. Then, it revs up into a traditional metal feast for the ears, complete with a high tenor vocalist and thrashing guitars. I enjoy the early IRON MAIDEN influence in this song in the instrumentals. The vocals are gravellier and less operatic, giving the song a high-pitched MOTORHEAD feel. The drum rolls are noticeable to give the song some speed and flair through the verses. I also enjoy the higher, hollow sound of the guitars which dates back to the late 70s/early 80s.

Similarly, the blues influence of early metal can be heard in “Master Of The Valley” with the strong bass line and blues scale riff. Throughout the song, you can also hear Tony Iommi’s influence in the way the notes are held. The production on “Scream For Mercy” is straight out of JUDAS PRIEST’s playbook. Plus, the melody change in the middle of the song keeps it moving in a really unique way. The guitar work at the end of the song is smooth and varied to create an interesting, engaging piece. Also, the way “Don’t Say Goodbye” seems to pick up after the last song left off is a creative, noteworthy choice. The long intro featuring the bass was also a good leadup to the song. Their live songs make up most of the last half of the album and they mostly have the same style as the rest of the album, with the exception of crowd participation. “Real Illusion” had an interesting opening from the front man, and then the rest of the song sounds like a punk rock song, which is well done and pleasantly unexpected departure from the rest of their stuff.

Overall, the sound is very traditional, from the studio recorded songs to the live songs. When I heard album releases like this, they’re either slanted towards studio releases with a couple of live songs at the end, or it’s practically an EP with a few new songs and a ton of live tracks. Actually, upon a closer listen, I enjoyed how the live versions of the songs had a different style than the studio versions, leaning more towards punk than power metal. The studio versions themselves weren’t bad and both showcased a bunch of influence from the 1970s and 80s. For fans of traditional metal, it’s worth checking out.

Songwriting: 8
Production: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Victims of This Earth
2. Lord of Darkness
3. Master of the Valley
4. Lost in Love
5. Scream for Mercy
6. Don’t Say Goodbye
7. Heavy Rock In Town
8. Intro/Sign of Evil (Live)
9. Lord of Darkness (Live)
10. Real Illusion (Live)
11. Don’t Say Goodbye (Live)
12. Lost in Love (Live)
13. The End of the World (Live)
14. Scream for Mercy (Live)
Patrick De Wilde - Vocals
Dirk De Strooper - Guitar
Kris Van De Vijver - Guitar
Gunther Poppe - Bass Guitar
Marc Vereecken – Drums
Record Label: Cult Metal Classics


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Edited 21 March 2023

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