Shades of Art - Reviews

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"This record just blew my mind even though I had high expectations before I heard rumblings about the members involved, man totally blew me away. Urban breed and Daniel Olsson former members of Tad Morose the now disintegrated awesome power metal band came together after the fallout and started this project. Later to be joined by Pelle Åkerlind drummer from Morgana Lefay and Bloodbound. You see the connection here probably as Pelle and Urban had shared time in Bloodbound as well. Whatever caused these guys to record this project I’m freaking glad they did as the music here is simply of the highest order Melodic Heavy/Power Metal order. ..." 9/10

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"Pflichtkauf und eines der besten Alben des laufenden Jahres! Wie aus dem Nichts läßt eine neue Band aus dem kleinen schwedischen Bollnäs mit ihrem Debütalbum in diesem Monat alles hinter sich. TRAIL OF MURDER heißt die Gruppe und wir haben es hier mit ehemaligen Musikern der Bands Bloodbound, Morgana Lefay und Tad Morose zu tun. Frontmann Urban Breed ist der Bandgründer und sang einst für Bloodbound zweu und für Tad Morose vier Alben ein die bereits allesamt als Paradebeispiele höchster skandinawischer Melodic Metal-Kunst in die Annalen eingingen. ..." 9/10 Read more (schweres-metall)



review by Criss (10/10)

Here is my personal review of Shades of Art that I wrote for


An interesting guitar riff layered with some effects, a short drum roll and then Trail of Murder kick off an unbelievable album. Wait a minute, does one have to know this band already? Yes and No! No, because it's just the debut album of this band. Yes, because 3 out of the 5 band members are already at least somewhat known in the metal scene. Drummer Pelle Akerlind is also involved in Morgana Lefay and Bloodbound, guitarist Daniel Olsson was part of Tad Morose - just like the singer Urban breed (who also did the vocals on two albums of Bloodbound). Knowing these bands already gives you a hint of what to expect of Trail of Murder - only taking everything a step up: straightforward power metal without thinking about any trends, heavy and highly melodic, mostly mid-tempo songs. And as if the music itself would not be already good enough, Urban's vocals take everything another step up. His vocals are emotional and passionate at all time, sometimes gruffy (Carnivore), sometimes soft (Your Silence, My Heart Still Cries). And above all, he simply has a stunning sense for melodies: catchy melodies can be found throughout the whole album, yet they never sound dull or start to annoy you after a few spins. Furthermore, I rarely have heard that good backing vocals!

A short track-by-track-review:
Shades of Art: 10/10; A perfect opener, amazing chorus (incl. the backing vocals), nice solo and bridge.
Carnivore: 10/10; Somewhat heavier, but catchy nonetheless. I love the gruffy vocals in the verses.
Lady Don't Answer: 10/10; Starting of with an awesome guitar riff, and Urban once again demostrates his abilities.
Mab: 9/10; Percussion leads the way to this song with a darker atmosphere. The use of harmonies is great in this song.
I Know Shadows: 10/10; Another masterpiece, maybe needs more spins to stick in your head, but then it's about to stay there a looong time.
Your Silence: 10/10; A soft guitar part followed by a heavy beat, the verse is soft again. And once again we are enthralled by Urban's vocals. The chorus is simply stunning!
Higher: 10/10; A faster song. Just listen to last chorus: Take me higher, take me higher... und each "higher" is also sung a few notes higher! Great!
The Song You Never Sang: 8/10; What an intro! But the rest of the song is not as convincing as the stuff we already heard. Still, it's just grouching on a high level, it's nonetheless a cool song.
Nightmares I Stole: 10/10; Nice intro, especially the drumming is worth mentioning. Another hightlight, containing the probably best part on the whole album: the bridge after the second chorus. Unbelievable!
Child Of Darkest Night: 10/10; Another hymn, slightly slower, but really heavy. Nice guitar effects in the verses and once again Urban breed outdoes himself...
Some Stand Alone: 9/10; Probably the fastest track on the album, again great guitars in the verses.
My Heart Still Cries: 10/10; At the moment my favorite song. After "Your Silence" the second slower song, still not a ballad. On this final song the band yet again displays all it's talent! Passionate, full of power and a superb vocal performance.

Conclusion: Simply a stunning album without any weak song. Without a doubt, not only fans of Tad Morose, Bloodbound, Morgang Lefay or Brainstorm should get this album. Any (power) metal fan should check this out. The only thing I could criticize is that the band might leave the path of the verse-chorus-bridge-scheme more often, but considering the quality of the songs this can be easily omitted.
(Criss, November 2012)