Album Review: Trinakrius - Seven Songs Of The Seven Sins

It's almost a rite of passage that at some point in their career every metal band will either make a concept album, or will at least write a thematic suite of songs. Something about compositions that extend beyond the usual boundaries of a four minute song is like catnip for artists, the sort of thing they think needs to be done to prove they are indeed artists at heart. What gets lost in translation is how few concept albums actually work as a focused piece of music. Either they veer so far away from convention to tell the story that few listeners are ever going to care much about, or they use a few repeated lyrical ideas to essentially herd musical cats.

Trinakrius takes the latter route, but in a manner that makes sense. Tackling the seven deadly sins, one song for each, is a way to tie the songs together, but not one that gets around the fact that they're still seven completely separate pieces of work. If anything, the effort to bind them as one larger piece of work sets them up for failure, as expectations for a cohesive conceptual piece are different, and higher, than a regular album.

"Pride (I Am The One)" takes the commitment further with a spoken word into that doesn't fit in at all with the style of music that is soon to follow. Trinakrius doesn't play a style of heavy/power metal that brings to mind connotations of evil, which makes the idea of covering the deadly sins a bit off-putting. There's a degree of cognitive dissonance that's hard to shake.

Taken on it's own, the music Trinakrius plays is a solid blend of traditional metal and the heavier variety of power metal. "Sloth (Shelve And Delay)" manages to sound like a power metal take on Alice In Chains, right down to the vocal harmonies. I'm not sure I've ever heard anything quite like it before.

The problem with "Seven Songs Of The Seven Sins" is that nothing about the record stands out. The concept isn't original, the riffing is solid but never comes out with that one riff that will live on in guitar players' minds, and the vocals are always searching for big hooks without being sharp enough. Everything about the record is good, but nothing is great. It's hard to be great, but no aspect of the record is memorable in a way that makes you want to go back and listen to it again and again. Even the production is like a dark blanket was thrown over the speakers, dulling the sound in a way that makes it hard to listen to for the course of an entire record.

None of that makes "Seven Songs Of The Seven Sins" a bad record, because it's not. It's a perfectly solid album that will appeal to fans of dark power metal and doom-influenced traditional metal. The issue is that solid is good, but it's not enough to elicit effusive praise. For all the good things I can say about the album, I'm not likely to remember any of them a week from now.

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