Monday 29 July 2013

Speedtrap - Powerdose (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 23/8/2013
Label : Svart Records

Powerdose album tracklisting:
1). Redemption of Might 02:51
2). Take Their Lives 03:33
3). Ready To Strike 03:38
4). Out of Time, Out of Line 05:16
5). Powerdose 03:03
6). Battle Cry 04:00
7). Reckless Endagerment 04:03
8). No Sympathy 03:00

After many slow-ups and hardships, Finland’s Speedtrap (founded in Lappeenranta, 2007) are finally back and ready to let it loose! Three years have passed since their previous release, a split album with Helsinki-based heavy metal punks Death with a Dagger, but the reckless heavy metal rockers have been busy boosting up their hyper energetic act to a whole new level.

Those already familiar with Speedtrap know what to expect: the aptly named debut full-length album “Powerdose” is a Motörheadcrash of speed metal, hardcore punk, rock ‘n’ roll and rapid-fire guitars that will bulldoze the feeble retro-revival scene back into oblivion. With roots crawling in the most vigorous depths of the 80’s, Speedtrap grabs the listener by the cojones with their take no holds barred arrogance, bestial grooves, rockin’ riffs that force the head to tilt back and fort, and vicious vocal delivery provided by Jori Sara-Aho, one of the most promising players in the scene.

Speedtrap is not here to reinvent the wheel, but to stretch out the best parts of their influences and mold it into exceptionally vivacious heavy metal rock mammoth. The band has squeezed out all the unnecessary elements out of their diamond-tight arrangements and kept the songs short to ensure an overdose of genuine 110-proof rock energy. Zero extra + zero bullshit = pure rock ‘n’ roll powerdose!

To fully capture the bands true sound and identity, the album has been recorded fully analogue from beginning to end: no computers were used in the making of this album. The result is a musical weapon of brutal delight that will take no prisoners. Warning: Speedtrap is not for wimps!

The heady era of thrash metal was such a beautiful time: Kill ‘Em All set down the template, Reign in Blood turned it into an art form, and countless bands through the years have made their mark on one of the most significant music genres ever to have been created.  And, thankfully, thrash is far from a dying art.  Meet Speedtrap: Helsinki’s answer to Exodus.  Their album ‘Powerdose’ is being released on August the 23rd and I’ve been allowed to have a listen.  It’s speed metal turbo-charged, guys and gals: strap in and rock out! 

We’re led right into the frenzy with album opener ‘Redemption of Might’ slamming through your speakers like a fleet of souped-up Harley Davidsons.  The fury and the sheer belligerent tempo reminds me of Metallica’s ‘Hit the Lights’, with a fair bit of extra sneer thrown into the mix.  The solos in this song (and indeed in every song) are so full-throttle ferocious, the album should come packaged with its own speedometer and expectant highway patrolman.  ‘Take Their Lives’ revs up with a chugging riff so fast it could tear your hair off at the roots.  It’s got the Judas Priest ‘Rapid Fire’ vibe to it, with a sturdy electrical shot of Anthrax plugged into its brain too.  Motörhead will be looking on with pride that their legacy is still strong in the metal community. 

‘Ready to Strike’ has singer Jori Sara-aho sounding like a caffeine-riddled Bruce Dickinson, and continues the rampage with hammering guitars and simply unyielding drum work from Miika Keränen.  Then we get introduced to ‘Out Of Time, Out Of Line’: a classic chest-beating metal anthem that is simply irresistible to listen to.  The riffery on display is dazzling, the chorus is everything that is great about 80s metal.  And the solo?  Well, I already told you how good they are.  This is my pick from the album: as soon as you are able, check it the fuck out. 

After this audio feast, the title track muscles its way onto the scene, with a cocky grin and a bullet belt around its waist.  ‘Powerdose’ is the new ‘Motorbreath’, people: played twice as fast, twice as aggressive, and with half the guitarists.  Seriously, Ville Valavuo is one hell of a speed metal guitarist- nothing less than pedal to the metal is fast enough for this guy.  ‘Battle Cry’ is a call to arms for all those who feel the need to mosh: no pretentions, no ulterior motives, this is the music to simply get you up and into that circle pit. 

The breakneck musical speed never abates on this album, and ‘Reckless Endangerment’ even warns you in the title.  I should have listened… nah!  The track rocks and rolls at 100mph, throwing you over bumpy terrain and flying around blind corners with no thoughts about tomorrow.  Take it from me, just trust the driver and enjoy the ride.  The final sonic face-shredder ‘No Sympathy’ hurtles and sweeps the aural landscape like a road warrior from Mad Max, bassist Markus Hietamies destroying his instrument with Lemmy-like aplomb.  When the album reaches its dramatic conclusion, you’ll realize you’ve taken a Powerdose of truly epic proportions, and I’m betting you’ll be wanting a second hit straight away. 

Words by : Chris Markwell

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links.  You can buy this release here. This record is available on 23/8/2013. Thanks to Svart records for the hook up