Sons of Angels Black Trip - Shadowline (SPV) 2015

1. Die with Me (4:12)
2. Danger (4:56)
3. Shadowline (3:57)
4. Berlin Model 32 (4:09)
5. Over the Worldly Walls (3:52)
6. Clockworks (0:54)
7. Rooms (:46)
8. Subvisual Sleep (3:04)
9. Sceneries (3:28)
10. The Storm (5:23)
11. Coming Home (3:30)

Sophomore release for Swedish heavy metal group Black Trip. While most retro-metal bands go for the 1980's sound, Black Trip seem to have as much 70's heavy metal in their blood as they do 80's metal. I hear bits of Thin Lizzy, UFO, Scorpions and a heavy helping of NWOBHM bands such as Diamond Head, Saxon and early Iron Maiden. However, all these influences are mixed together, creating a unique sound that is definitely Black Trip. Riff driven songs with fiery axework, highly memorable songwriting and slightly raspy vocals that remind me of Brian Tatler with a hint of Philip Lynott.

Each song on this album is distinct and each song is as good as the next. The album opens with "Die With Me". In the first second vocalist Joseph Tholl lets out a scream over top the up-beat intro before the song kicks into a memorable, melodic, heavy metal barnstormer. "Danger" gets as close to the classic Thin Lizzy sound as I've ever heard any band get (save for perhaps Black Star Riders). The Lizzy-influences can be felt throughout with plenty of dual guitar solos. Of course there are other influences as well. Listen to the guitar solo in "Berlin Model 32" and see if it doesn't remind you of those classic Schenker guitar licks, while the dual lead before the second solo pays tribute to the tag team of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson. The opening riff to "Subvisual Sleep" has a feel that reminds me of classic Scorpions.

In 2015 it's unfortunate that the term "metal" has become associated with heavily downtuned guitars, breakdowns, and some guys screaming at you like a drill sergeant at a lazy cadet. Thankfully there are young bands who know what real heavy metal is and are still flying high the banner. Black Trip are definitely one of those bands and "Shadowline" is a brilliant collection of real heavy metal.

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