Saturday 17 August 2013

Trial - Malicious Arts 7"

One thing there's plenty of right now is 7" records. This review features one from Swedish occult heavy metallers Trial. Malicious Arts has recently been unleashed through Nuclear Winter Records. Trial first formed in 2007 but it wasn't until 2010 before they released their first demo, firstly via self-released CDr and then via limited tape through the Coffin Slave. Later in 2012, they released their debut album The Primordial Temple via the same label. They came to the attentions of Nuclear Winter Record shortly afterwards, who released their first seven inch recording earlier this year.


1. To Dust
2. Of Sinister Seed (The Madness Within)

During the traditional heavy metal revival of recent years (if it ever needed reviving), apart from the UK, Sweden has fared well in terms of quality genre protagonists. Trial, while not a new band, can be added to that long and illustrious list. This all too brief two-track seven-inch acts a follow up to their 2012 album The Primordial Temple, yet holds it's own with two new tracks. Opener To Dust begins with haunting choral singing before the striking musicianship and falsetto vocals of Trial take over. It's chock full of great vocal harmonies and tuneful leads. Thankfully there was no temptation from Trial to borrow from the oft cheesy world of Power Metal and while there are some similarities, this has more of an occult feel to it.

Second track Of Sinister Seed (The Madness Within) shows a slightly different side to Trial. While still keeping the essence of their sound from the first track, it's more progressive and more operatic. Don't worry though, it ain't fat lady operatic, I'm just referring to the pitch of the vocals. It's the vocals that take centre stage in the song, with the musicianship being slightly more reined in than on To Dust during the verses. They still throw in some great guitar harmonies and solos. At times, the vocals are slightly off pitch, but that's part of the charm and let's face it, music like this was never meant to sound mainstream.

With classic musical textures and good old heavy metal stomp, you can't really go wrong here if you're a fan of the genre. The subtle medieval elements within the sound help make Malicious Arts feel more genuine and with the melodies that Trial weave into their music, you have something that you can listen to once you finished being Colt or br00tal, which still make you grin and feel better than your neighbour who listens to RnB. Also, the fact that it's been pressed onto vinyl will mean you have something lovingly crafted to hold. That and this record is how real music should be!

Opening track To Dust is streaming on Nuclear Winter Records' soundcloud page on their website at, where you can also purchase a copy. It's limited to 500 copies on black vinyl.

You can also pick it up from Trial directly. Instructions are on their Facebook page -

Nuclear Winter Records Facebook -

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