Italian metal group Trinakrius has undergone a huge amount of changes since their inception in 1995. From lineup to label changes, the band has seen its shares of departures and arrivals, all while adapting to many different shifts in the metal atmosphere. It’s been a bumpy ride for the group, but their newest album Seven Songs of Seven Sins, doesn’t stand in a specific zone of metal. Trinakrius has proven their love for both the sludgy darkness of Black Sabbath and the faster speed metal of Judas Priest, which is a combination that could have been misguided and polarizing among the metal community.
Fortunately, the two influences don’t conflict, instead appearing right where either of them are required. Combining the weight of Black Sabbath with the speed of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal isn’t easy, as they are very different animals. Trinakrius are an ambitious group of musicians to mix both, and while some of the songs lack the tight focus of their influences, Seven Songs of Seven Sins offers a considerable amount of variety along with a broodingly dark atmosphere that echoes the greats of black metal like Opeth.
For an album based around the seven deadly sins, Trinakrius doesn’t do too much with the concept. There aren’t many cases with the lyrics where you can see the band stepping outside of an established template. It’s a brilliant topic that feels fit for both power and doom metal. However, the execution on “Seven Songs…” feels like a missed opportunity. There are some very inventive ideas on the album: “Sloth…” for example is drawn out, sluggish and heavy. “Lust…” is faster, more intense, and energized. This match-up between subject matter and sound is where the entire concept feels at home, but despite the band’s stellar compositions and musicianship, the concept feels wasted among many of the other erratic songs on the album.
While Trinakrius’ implementation of the “seven deadly sins” concept is a bit underwhelming, the musicianship itself is tight and atmospheric. Vocalist Fabio Sparacello mixes the ascendant banshee wails of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson and Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, while guitarist Emanuele “Izzy” Bonura’s versatile axe work takes both the slow and fast roads without misstep. The implementation of keyboards from Alessio Romeo is where the ethereal elegance can show, even when Bonura lays down the hammer with earth-shaking guitar riffs. The band even takes cues from modern day thrash, shown clearly in the revving opening (and later guitar solo) to “Greed (All Mine).” It’s clear that Trinakrius have worked through a number of different metal eras; they’ve seen it all, and as a result, they aren’t afraid to try it all.
Trinakrius’ slight hindrance at the construction of narrative and concept in their music is disappointing, but Seven Songs of Seven Sins still demonstrates a tight anthological tome of all styles metal. You’ll find the slower and darker Black Sabbath influences wide awake with the Judas Priest-influenced guitar solos and Sparacello’s magnificent crow of a metal voice. How each composition fits into the grander tapestry of the album is where there is untapped potential. The album doesn’t feel entirely complete in that regard. If you can ignore the messily implemented concept, you’ll find some fantastic musicianship on Seven Songs of Seven Sins, some that could even rival the genre’s influential forefathers.
Categories: Music review