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Review: Trial - Vessel

Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 50:59
Tracks: 7
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: March 20, 2015
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 3.78/5 (75.56%) (9 Votes)

When the Arch-era Fates Warning sounds from Trial's Malicious Arts single hit my ears in 2013, I was pleased as I count myself among the fans of the classic American Progressive Metal band. Therefore, the band's second album, Vessel, brought a smile to my face when it showed up in my review queue.

To start things on a positive note, the things that made the single so appealing are present on Vessel, from the melodic yet slightly complicated song structures to the esoteric vocal lines. The album opens with a slow, doomy section of the title track that sounds like something While Heaven Wept might have done in the past (and both bands have used that same song title) but the pace soon kicks up to a gallop. After a few minutes of foot tapping and air guitar strumming though I found my attention drifting. It quickly became apparent that while Trial sounds like Fates Warning, they don't write like them. The compositions are generally long and tend to wander or the band attempts to stretch too few ideas over too long a running time. This is no more noticeable than on the 13+ minute "Restless Blood" which has its share of cool licks but just as many parts that are just boring.

Vessel is a decent effort from Trial and they successfully capture the sound of classic Fates Warning. Next time around they'll need to either tighten up the song lengths or come up with some additional elements to sustain those longer times. Vessel is an album with good ideas but feels like it wasn't completely finished.

Other related information on the site
Review: Malicious Arts (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Motherless (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Vessel (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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