"Shades of Art"

By Dark Starr

This is a pretty awesome metal album. These guys have basically come out of nowhere to ambush us with a very heavy yet melodic piece of work. The sound is generally in the neighborhood of modern melodic metal, but there are variants within that sound, including elements of power metal, thrash and straight up hard rock. I’d say that for the most part it avoids feeling redundant or stale, despite the fact that it could use a little more variety.

The album opens with the hooky and powerful title track which combines mid-paced metal with a kind of hard rock cachiness. The Dio-like vocals from ex Tad Morose and Bloodbound singer Urban Breed are a consistent highlightThings heavy up intensely with second track "Carnivore", which shows the band means business. With "Lady Don't Answer", we get an effective cross between the two previous styles. It starts melodic, then takes a turn for the extreme. It's a good example of how Trail of Murder keeps you on your toes.

As the album continues, we get tracks reminiscent of European power metal, early Queensryche, and melodic thrash. With 12 numbers on show, it does get a little tiring by the end but it’s definitely an accessible and effective heavy metal disc.