Black Trip – Shadowline

By Andrew Bansal


For Swedish old-school heavy metal group Black Trip, the debut full-length album Goin’ Under (released in 2013 in Europe, 2014 in North America) was a long time in the making but was worth the wait as it turned out to be one of the finest debut efforts to have surfaced in the genre in the recent past, and put them on the global map. Goin’ Under, primarily composed by vocalist Joseph Tholl and guitarist Peter Stjärnvind, is filled to the brim with their interpretation of all things classic Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy. Two years later, Black Trip has a solidifed lineup, and with active touring in Europe under their belts, they set out to write the follow-up album, this time as a band. The result is ‘Shadowline’, released worldwide August 28 via SPV/Steamhammer.

Upon listening to the entirety of this 11-track, 41-minute record, it’s clear straightaway that while Black Trip have retained the influences and inspirations that fueled their creativity on Goin’ Under, they have delved deeper, combining the musical personalities and backgrounds of more band members, and as a result they have succeeded in formulating an even more vintage heavy rock sound in comparison to that of the debut album. It is a more laid-back and melodic approach, as evident from the initial portion of the album with tunes such as ‘Die With Me’, ‘Danger’ and the incredibly catchy and memorable title track. This vibe is maintained throughout the album as the richness of the guitar and vocal harmonies is the dominating sonic element, the tracks ‘Over The Worldly Walls’ and ‘Sceneries’ standing out as the highlights. All eleven items in this record are not only individually solid but together constitute a highly compelling 41-minute piece of music.


Through this newfound approach and bout of creativity, Black Trip have expressed themselves to the fullest. The melodies in the guitar parts are excellently complimented by the edginess of Joseph Tholl’s vocal delivery and the rhythm section is expertly blended in to keep things heavy. While the debut album is very undeniably Thin Lizzy and Di’Anno-era Iron Maiden inspired, there is a lot more to ‘Shadowline’, so much so that it is in fact not straightforward to pinpoint the influences based on the sound alone, which has to be a good thing.

Contrary to popular belief, the classic heavy metal genre has enjoyed quite the resurgence in the last three years, thanks in no small part to Black Trip. The Swedes have done it again, as ‘Shadowline’ promises to deliver to metalheads some of the catchiest, grooviest, most uplifting new old-school anthems.

Rating: 9/10

Record Label: SPV/Steamhammer

Release Date: August 28th 2015

Track Listing:
1. Die With Me 04:12
2. Danger 04:56
3. Shadowline 03:57
4. Berlin Model 32 04:09
5. Over The Worldly Walls 03:52
6. Clockworks 03:54
7. Rooms 00:46
8. Subvisual Sleep 03:04
9. Sceneries 03:28
10. The Storm 05:23
11. Coming Home 03:30

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