Victorious is available at:
25th March, 2015
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
The album Zero Hour is available from:
Release date: 18th May 2015
Label: Rocksector Records
Drums recorded at Grindhouse Studios, engineering and produced by Scott Atkins.
Guitars, Bass and Vocals engineered and produced by Glyn Wiliams.
Produced by Glyn Williams, Scott Atkins, James Stephenson and Triaxis.
Mixed and Mastered by James Stephenson at Stymphalian Productions .
All tracks written by Triaxis. Except ‘Death Machine’ and ‘End of Time’ written by Triaxis and Owen Crawford.
Published by Scarlet Songs.
Cover Art and photography by Colin Marks: Rain Song Design.
Band Photography by Luke Padfield.
Ossein ‘Oz’ created by Tom at Razorstorm.
AFTER assessing a Birmingham-based Alternative/Grunge act, thinks are getting heavier…
and more… Welsh. In addition to (this being my first Welsh act) it is my first Metal review: surprising it has taken me this long (over three years essentially). The genre is one that can be quite divisive: people either (passionately) love it or (violently) hate it. Strangely, I am sort of in-between: I am a huge fan of Judas Priest and Metallica; a little virginal when it comes to other acts- I need to investigate the genre more closely. A lot of Metal acts- particularly ‘90s-originated ones- were fairly hit-and-miss: a lot of knuckle-dragging noise was being produced. Metal is at its finest (when the act making the music) is intelligent and nuanced- not just people who turn up; make a hell of a noise- with no regard for quality and inspiration. Unless you listen to Daniel P. Carter (Radio One D.J.) or his ilk, Metal is not often heard (in the mainstream): it is a genre that is primarily exists in the underground. The public still has a very narrow/cliché perception: many associate (the genre) with screaming and thrashing- and not a lot else. It is a shame (this is the assumption) as Metal musicians are among the smartest out there: capable of producing some truly incredible music. Sure, there is a lot of noise; a tonne or force and riffage (sic.)- a firestorm of fury and passion. These are qualities associated with (a lot of genres) yet Metal gods (and goddesses) turn it up to 11: take that passion and crank up the volume. Triaxis hail from Wales: a country synonymous (with great) Metal bands. Bullet for My Valentine, Funeral for a Friend and Skindred (are among the country’s best). Expunging the likes of Lostprophets (and their depraved lead singer) and you have quite a roster-Triaxis can rank among (Wales’) very finest. Having been recommended by a friend (Haris); I am glad I have discovered them- the band are among the most impressive new acts coming through. Before I go into more detail, let me (via their own words) introduce them:
Vocals – Krissie.
Drums – Giles.
Rhythm guitar – CJ.
Lead Guitar – Glyn.
Bass Guitar – Becky.
“Triaxis are a heavy metal band from South Wales. Formed in 2006, Triaxis self-released their debut full-length album ‘Key To The Kingdom’ in 2009 to critical acclaim, including plaudits from Metal Hammer, Terrorizer, Zero Tolerance as well as coverage and praise from many leading music websites. They have also made numerous radio appearances, including airplay on Bruce Dickinson’s BBC Rock Show.
After headline grabbing sets at Hammerfest (2011 & 2013) and Bloodstock Open Air (2009 & 2012), the band signed to Rocksector Records in 2012 to release their second album, ‘Rage and Retribution’ (recorded at Foel Studios and engineered by James Stephenson of Stymphalian Productions) once again to critical acclaim. Triaxis have continued to perform extensively across the UK and Europe.
Their first promotional video, for the single ‘Black Trinity’ (Dir: Adam Stevenson, ASAV), was released in 2013 and has since been nominated for a Pure Rawk Award, alongside a growing number of award nominations for the band members themselves.
2015 sees Triaxis release their third studio album ‘Zero Hour’ (produced by Glyn Williams, James Stephenson of Stympahlian Productions and Scott Atkins of Grindhouse Studios), funded through a PledgeMusic campaign, which achieved 100% of its target in nine hours via unprecedented support from Triaxis fans. With the first single ‘Victorious’ available for free download, Triaxis continue to expand their fan base and cement their place in the metal genre.”
Unlike a lot of Metal acts- especially ‘mainstream’ examples- Traixis have a boy-girl line-up: most Metal acts tend to be all-male. This ‘diversity’ has made a big difference; added to their music- the bond between the musicians is clearly evident. Arriving with their third album (Zero Hour) the band have no plans of slowing: through a (hugely successful) Pledgemusic campaign they were able to fund the L.P.- the support from their fans has been overwhelming. The five-piece have big ambitions; plans for the future- a prestigious spot at Bloodlines awaits them. It is not hard to see (why the band is so favoured) as their music draws in their influences- including Iron Maiden and Judas Priest- and adds their distinct personalities: Traixis sound very much like themselves (when it is all said and done). I hope the band manage to conquer the U.K.: their latest album is taking large steps towards this goal. Playing all across the country, they are recruiting acolytes (at a rate of knots): it cannot be long before the U.S. comes a-calling- their music has the potential to transcend barriers and nations.
Zero Hour (is the Welsh band’s) third album- and fourth release in total. Having gone through a line-up change (Becky joined the band in 2014; the band’s newest sister), the group sound more gilded and galvanised- they have never sounded more assured. Keys to the Kingdom– championed by the fine minds of Metal Hammer Magazine- was a masterful debut (they released an E.P. before; this was their debut album). Confident and instant; ranged and stunning: here is an album with nary a weary song. Bolstered (and ably led) by Krissie’s Heart-of-gold-cum-Judas’ vocals- that displays huge confident, intelligence, soul and fight- and you have an exceptional lead-in. The band are together and in-step- right from the very first- track; the pace never relents (over 11 numbers); the themes explore mythology and strange characters- lords, geishas and phoenixes are all covered. Still (relatively obscure)- the band still do not command the attention they deserve- Rage and Retribution was an exceptional sophomore effort- an album that expanded upon their early promise. Following some passion-led write-ups- from Metal magazines and blogs- the band took that confidence; crafted an exceptional follow-up. Gathering masses of critical acclaim- publications were filled with effusive dedication and love- the album stands (as an exceptional creation). Inspired by the likes of Judas Priest and Metallica, there was no second-rate work here: the album stands among the finest (either of the aforementioned bands) created. Rage’ was delivered in 2012: since then, there has been an eager wait- critics and fans have been salivating and speculating. With a new member- and new influence abound- the band delivers their finest album yet: hard to believe given the quality on their last record. Defined by exceptional songwriting- the lyrics and compositions are among the most detailed and inspiring to date- and tight performances, the band are on fire: Zero Hour is their masterpiece. Packed with crowd-pleasing epics; instantly memorable songs (Stand Your Ground ranks among their finest songs so far) and you have a phenomenal record. Among the jewels of Zero Hour lies Victorious: a song that (more than) lives up to its name.
The sound of “bloodshot eyes” opens the track: propelled by a frantic riff, the song spares no time (in drilling into the listener’s mind). Frantic and frenetic, the band explodes to life: there is no time for a soft build-up; the song is an instant ball-kick. With the heroine prepared to march “through the gates of Hell” there are declarations afoot: never has Krissie sounded so confident and strong-willed. Riding the riptide- her band whip up a firestorm of sound and dark magic- and you are gripped. Not just dedicated to the mosh pits and sweat-filled arenas, the song has enough melody (and restraint) to appeal to all listeners- including newcomers to the (Metal) genre. If images of a “single victor” tearing (a poor unfortunate/situation) “limb from limb” (put you in mind of Game of Thrones), then you’d be right: the track is an epic warlord; a calling card to the masses- a rally-cry to the armies (and legions of Traixis fans). Epic and statuesque; commanding and sword-wielding, our heroine stands proud: delivering her messages with heart and determination. The band do not overcrowd ad flood the vocals- unlike a lot of Metal acts- which allows the lyrics to shine and pervade. Pummeling percussion blends with guiding bass; stuttering (and fist-aloft) guitars build up the tension- the band project a myriad of images within the first stages of the song. Never screamed or demented, the track mixes melody with potency: it is a track that wants to unite people- in an army of chorusing and chanting. Hollow victories and final breaths are unfurled; electrifying guitars do reign- the song gets faster (and more furious) with each second. As the band unify in voice- ensuring the messages and codas hit the mark- you are powerless to resist- it is a track that lodges into your brain; it never loses its power. Before the 1:20 mark, the bass line comes to the fore: empowering and forceful, it is an extremely impressive performance. Leading in the vocal, the song refrains slightly- our heroine leads the gods of war; her testament will be witnessed. Allowing the spotlight (to focus on the words) the band step back slightly: it is a pause that is brief and essential. Teasing the listener; allowing the imagination to conspire- the band are soon back in the fray. Whether you imagine armies of dragons (ridden by axe-wielding warriors) or a modern equivalency, it is impossible (not to) imagine: the song is so vivid and imaginative; filled with action-packed scenes and powerful statements. Most bands- that play outside of Metal- focus on love and relationships (*yawn*)- Traixis’ voyage into mystical realms (and armies coming together) is hugely admirable. With riffs (and primal urges) that put me in mind (of Judas Priest’s finest work) and you have a terrific song: a crowd pleaser-in-waiting king. By the half-way mark (of Victorious) you are fully invested: the chorus comes back in; you find yourself singing along- it is inevitable there will be some air guitar (bit of air drumming too, no less). Whilst our heroine examines “the traitor in me” she is backed by (gurgling, male-led) backing vocals- it adds some roar and fist-aloft growl into the mix. Where evil “sows the seeds of deceit”, the band seem like the Forces of Good: the cavalcade determined to rule the day; expel the spirits of hatred. Packing atomic bomb-sized power, the track hits the heavens: the clans are balkanised; the scene is set- the fight is truly on (who would bet against Traixis?). At the 3:00 mark, there (is unleashed) a squalling guitar coda: a viper stings with alacrity; fire and spark crackle (the audible sensation of swords slashing). Guitars multiply and duel; the percussion tees and slams; the bass slithers and stings (among the enraptured arpeggio) – a delicious solo (that is a perfect punctuation point). The final moments are dedicated to rapture and musicianship: the band come together supremely; linking their instruments in a testament of warfare- it seems the bodies are slain; the fires are burning (and the victor has been crowned). Not forgetting some (much-needed) chant- in the final seconds- the band take the song to land- the head-nodding swagger never relents; the listener is gripped until the final second.
Kudos must be given to every band member: Victorious is a song that perfectly introduces Zero Hour. With fantastic production values- that allows the vocal to shine; it perfectly mixes the instruments together without sounding over-produced- it is a superb-sounding song. The lyrics are direct and picturesque: filled with imagination and imagery, it is impossible not to be drawn in. Fight scenes and evil; spirits and dark overtones- the track has everything you can possibly want. A crowd-pleading anthem it is designed to be quoted and chanted: few bands create something as immediate and memorable. It is the band (and their performances) that bring Victorious to life: each member is at the very top of their game. Krissie’s vocals are consistently inspiring and engaging: passionate and melodic; direct and warrior-like, it is a stunning performance. For a song- and band- to inspire, you need a phenomenal singer: in Krissie, Trixis have this (in spades). Bringing the lyrics to life (and displaying plenty of range and soul) the lead turns in a wonderful display. Glyn’s (lead) guitar is an attacking beast: a spellbinding thing; a huge force of nature. Going from grunting and wolf-like; mutating to a cosmic, fire-breathing thing- you cannot resist its charm. An exceptional player, Glynn gives Victorious plenty of power and potency. With C.J. (on rhythm guitar) you have a perfect 1-2: a guitar-wielding duo who perfectly understands one another. The two blend effortlessly; they weave in and out (of one another) – they give the song an enormous weight of conviction and fire. Becky’s bass sits perfectly in the mix: featuring on her first Triaxis album, there are no signs of nerves or shyness. Sounding like- she has been a member since day one- you have a terrific performer: at times, her bass almost steals the show. Both leading and authoritative, rebellious and domineering, she is one to watch. Giles clearly has a passion for Metal: his percussion work ranks with some of his idols (Lars Ulrich would be proud of his work). Almost octopus-like in its breadth; Giles unleashes enormous power and pummel- leading the band and keeping everything in-check.
Zero Hour is the band’s finest work (to date): it updates their existing sound and adds extra layers of awesomeness- they have never sounded more urgent and inspired. With exceptional songwriting- and consistently impressive performances- few peers have their confidents and bombast. Tracks like Death Machine and Queen of the Iceni (are as vivid as their title suggests); Liberty is the perfect opener- the title track is one of the finest (of the dozen songs on the album). Krissie’s ‘varied background’- having sung in Soul and Swing bands- adds to the music: her vocals can go from soulful and seductive to eruptive and blood-lusting. A natural leader, the songs would have sounded weaker (with a male lead). Glynn and Giles (Triaxis’ male duo) add huge weight to proceedings: their guitar-and-drum courtship defines (the album’s pummel and lust) – few other musicians have their talent and urgency. With Becky’s (prodigious) bass work- which guides and directs each number- and C.J.’s (rhythm guitar) skills- that perfectly pair (with Glyn’s axe) and you have an extraordinary band- each member knows their role; each does it perfectly. Their new L.P. is gaining fervent praise- I hope my review does them justice- and gigs are pouring forth: the group is here to stay. The band take good care of their fans; their official website is detailed and eye-catching: few other acts take as much trouble (to ensure their online portfolio is as impressive). Growing in stature- with each new release and album- the quintet is bigger and bolder (than a few years ago) – keep your eyes open for them. Traixis give Metal a great name- not that the genre should ever be doubted- with their professionalism and passion. For those (who think Metal) is a niche genre- and is merely noise and thrash- then think again: there is plenty to love (with Traixis). The bastard love-child of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest (having had an affair with Firewind on the side) the boy-slash-girl-slash-awesomeness should not be underestimated. In a music scene- that is synonymised by a lot of bland and uninspired acts- needs an overhaul: Triaxis deserve wider acclaim and patronage. Throughout the spring (and summer), the band embarks on more tour dates: taking their new album across the nation. With their exceptional musicians- who have a clear respect and understanding of one another- and top-notch tunes (that stand up to repeated listens) and you have a bona fide stars. One of the great things about reviewing- and there are quite a few- is discovering new acts: artists you’d never usually come across. Zero Hour is an album that shows clear passion- the fact it was funded (by their fans) so quickly shows what faith people have- and dedication: the songwriter is consistently brilliant; the range and diversity is wonderful- there is not a weak link on the disc. Metal is that black sheep (that always divides opinion): you are either going to be impassioned (to its wonder) or balked by its front (and sheer force of nature swagger). Being a fan of Painkiller-era Judas’; a follower of Metallica (their self-titled album contains more riffage and tuneage (both, sic.) than any other album. Triaxis have qualities of both: the instantaneousness and anthems; heritage and authority- few of their Metal contemporaries are as stunning (as them). If you are a Metal virgin (it is a genre that will take your virginity roughly and with little foreplay) then do not fear: Traixis are a band of the people; they want to draw you in- and keep your attention focused. Intelligent and nuanced; variegated and epic- the five-piece are stadium-ready stunners (I could see them being a Glastonbury/Isle of Wight fixture years from now). Victorious is a track (that lives up to its name); make sure you submit to it…
AND discover a band at the peak of their powers.