Release Date: 18th May 2015
The valleys are alive with the sound of Metal.
South Wales' finest, Triaxis, are back with a bang with the long awaited follow up to 2012s critically acclaimed 'Rage And Retribution'. Since their formation in 2006, their no holds barred brand of pulsating Metal has continued to recruit the head banging masses. 2015 could turn out to be massive year in the band's fortunes.
Like every true Metal album, you hope to have your ears virtually assaulted from right from the off. And just like 'Sand And Silver' from the last album, 'Liberty' far from disappoints.
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What starts with some haunting atmospheric guitars soon erupts into a full on Metal attack. While the verses on 'Death Machine' are a tad one dimensional, you just can't run away from the ridiculously addictive chorus, which tie in brilliantly with demonic blood curdling backing vocals. As with the last album, the services of James Stephenson are used to triumphant effect, with his mixing and mastering being key on this album.
Triaxis proudly list Megadeth as one of their primary influences, which is blatantly evident on 'Ministry Of Truth', a complete powerhouse of a song that refuses to let you draw breath. Featuring some mind-bending axe work from Glyn and CJ, it's real overriding quality is Krissie's effortless vocals; this is without doubt a woman born to sing Heavy Metal.
Though not as aggressive as the previous tracks, the fantastical and futuristic 'Terraform' reminds you of the versatility in the bands song writing. Along with some sweet melodic guitars, it's the chilling fade out of the song that holds you captive, simple, effective and bloody beautiful.
You can't beat good old galloping Heavy Metal, and the bigger the gallop the better, 'Dying Sun' exudes this in spades. The balance between power and melody is meticulously executed on a track that is sure to be releases as a single. Despite the hugely impressive hellish chorus, 'Victorious' is a mixed bag of complexity, with far too much going on. What started with real promise tends to meander aimlessly.
But on a positive note, it does show that this band refuse to play it safe. In comparison, 'Stand Your Ground' is old school, with the opening riff a real throwback to the classic Metal era. Giles pummels his skins like a man possessed on 'End Of Time', his partnership with new bassist Becky Baldwin, who has replaced Owen Crawford, is nothing short of rhythmic genius. Her recruitment may just be this album's secret weapon.
'Lest We Forget' finally allows you to draw that well earned breath with an epic ballad that oozes class from start to finish. Songs of this magnitude and beauty don't come along every day and when they do it's like you hit the jackpot. The relentless mayhem resumes on penultimate song 'Voices' while title track and album closer 'Zero Hour' - which I thought was instrumental going by the length of the majestic intro - rubber stamps the band's five star musicianship.
Back in the glory days of hard rock and Metal the all important third album was often seen as a make or break and I would put my house on the latter with this one. Triaxis aren't uncovering a new genre here and are by no means reinventing the Heavy Metal wheel and I have no doubt there's a thousand similar sounding albums out there but Triaxis are doing it a whole lot better than everyone else.
'Zero Hour' Tracklist:
Ministry Of Truth
Stand Your Ground
Queen of Iceni
End of Time
Lest We Forget