It seems a little unfair to keep trotting out the same names that spring to mind when you put on Rage & Retribution, the second album from Welsh metallers Triaxis, purely because the same names will spring to mind every time – Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Testament, Judas Priest, etc. – but that just goes to show that Triaxis have hit the nail on the head when it comes to making pure, no-frills metal that hits all the same buttons as those classic bands at their best do.
Indeed, it takes approximately two seconds of opening track ‘Sand & Silver’ before the horns will be thrown, the hair will start to flail (for those who still can!) and the throwing of shapes will begin, with pretty much every track thereafter having the same effect. Managing to perfectly meld their modern, sheet-metal sound with a delicious sense of melody, Rage & Retribution effortlessly moves from one banging tune to the next, creating a new favourite with every listen as a different riff or drum pattern welds itself to your brain.
And what do you know? It takes until the third paragraph to mention that Triaxis have a female singer, in case you didn’t know. Frontwoman Krissie’s voice perfectly suits the music, lifting the songs where they need it, keeping it tight and controlled without ever going into faux-opera territory like so many other female metal vocalists do. The vocal harmonies on songs like ‘Black Trinity’ add the necessary anthemic edge without going over the top, working with the low-end guitars and rumbling bass to create some truly remarkable ‘proper’ metal.
It could be that Triaxis have created a nigh-on perfect album in the sense of there really isn’t anything negative to say about it. The energy, style and musicianship are all there and the songwriting level is pretty consistent, so would it be too much to say that this could be their Ride the Lightning? When you compare that album to Kill ‘Em All the differences are immense, the sound of a band maturing, shaking off their influences and going their own way, and that is what Triaxis have done here, sounding more focused, confident and just so damn good. Makes the idea of album number three something of a tempting prospect, does it not?
Triaxis on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Triaxis
Rocksector Records on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rocksector-Records/270932286349