To new ends
TRIAL come from Trollhättan in Sweden where they were formed in 2007 and they have released a classic demo, debut, EP, a single and this year's second "Vessel" album. An album which blown me off and till now it reigns my position of album of the year. In my view it is a top piece of dark Heavy Metal with occult lyrics, but their Heavy Metal is a bit harder and more aggressive than it is usual in classical performers of this art. Their roots reach in Death Metal well where glow two names, Abscess Plague and Ensnared, incidentally second mentioned one is still active. All details about their music I described in a review of the "Vessel" and I have no choice but just to invite you to an interview with this black band. My questions were answered by Martin Svensson (drums).
Hello, you have formed TRIAL in 2007, but before it two of your members have played in Abscess Plague, Death metal band, and the other two members are still playing in a Death Metal band called Ensnared. Seems you are still close to Death Metal what is a nice, yet you have formed a classic Heavy Metal band called TRIAL. Do you consider yourself just a classic Metal head who likes old Metal in any form?
I think you can clearly hear, at least on Malicious Arts and Vessel, that we are very inspired by both Death and Black Metal. Everyone in the band has a very open mind regarding music, and listen to many things non-metal as well, but of course we are into the classic acts as well.
Why did you actually decide to form TRIAL? Do you remember the day when the band began work properly? Could you introduce all the band members?
As clichée as it sounds, it was necessary for us to do so. We all knew each other long before TRIAL was formed, and had worked together in several small projects but wanted to take it one step further, to help us evolve as musicians and as people. The music was a natural choice for us since we all worshipped bands like Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Satan etc.
First you have released "Demo 2010" which was released by The Coffins Slave. Was it interesting to hear your first record out of a rehearsal room? How did it feel to hear how you sound from the official recording?
It was our first recording as a band, and you always get that kick out of it, and think it sounds great as you record it. But in retrospect there is a lot we could have done differently, it was actually recorded in our rehearsal room as well. It was actually released as a CD-r demo by ourselves first, and later on The Coffins Slave contacted us and wanted it released on tape as well, which we were really excited to do!
How was this demo accepted by critics? Do you remember some praising reviews or they have written you're not playing anything original? How much do you care about the words of critics and fans?
From what I can remember we got good reviews for it, nothing spectacular of course, but it landed us a deal to record our first album, and that's all we made the demo for, to be able to release a real album.
We care to the point that we take into account what critics say, but never change our ideas or goals just because of what someone outside of the band says. Constructive criticism as well as praise is always welcomed.
In November 11, 2011 your "The Primordial Temple" debut was released by the same label in limited edition only 500 pieces. How are you satisfied with this recording from today's perspective? Do you listen to this material often? Would you change anything? The production, order of the songs or anything else?
When we recorded it we were extremely satisfied with the result, and it was a big step forward in comparison to our demo. I see it as a natural progression for us, and at the time we couldn't have done it better, even though you have a lot of things you would change when listening back to it. But I think it's important to see the album for what it is, and as a debut and actually the first proper studio recording anyone in the band had done, we did a good job! I can't say that I go back and listen to it very often though...
The album, as I said, came in 500 copies. Suppose the full amount is already sold out. Was there some second press? If not, do you ever plan to re-issue the album for fans who would like to own the original? What do you actually think about an old theme as music download, digital format?
The CD was in 500 copies yes, and there was later a vinyl pressing of 500 copies as well.
We might re-issue it sometime in the future if there is a demand for it, but we have no plans for it right now.
Regarding downloads, we have no real problem with it, people who enjoy our music enough probably buys our albums, or at least purchase the digital copies from us (from BandCamp and iTunes store).
Next recording was "Malicious Arts" EP with two tracks which was released by Nuclear Winter Records! This label is rather specialized in Black / Death / Thrash bands. How did you get to them? Were they excited by your music?
I used to order a lot of stuff from A.V. (Nuclear Winter Records) and usually spoke a bit to him during that time. He was interested in hearing some of the material we had going on, so I sent him a few roughly recorded rehearsal tracks, which he really enjoyed and went on to release the 7”. I think also it's important not to see TRIAL as JUST a Heavy Metal band. I think we incorporate a lot of other elements as well, which could make the usual Death- and Black Metal interested in us...
"Where Man Becomes All" was a single which was probably a harbinger before the second full-length, but this time it was already under another label, High Roller Records. Why did you finally get this label?
We had spoken to High Roller Records already during the time of recording Malicious Arts, and they wanted us to release that with them at first. But since we had already made a deal with Nuclear Winter Records we wanted to make that release first and later focus on a full length album for HRR.
New "Vessel" is in my view a masterful piece of today Heavy Metal, I am more than sure the reactions of critics had to be more than positive, the music flows in amazingly good compositions and all the instruments are played with the experiences of old professionals. Are you satisfied with the second album more than the debut? Could you compare the two albums?
Thanks for your words! We are extremely satisfied with the outcome of Vessel, we could never have dreamed of what it would be. You have a vision of what you want the album to be like, and it exceeded that by far. I think you're always more satisfied with your latest outputs, since you always work towards improving. If you don't, maybe you should call it quits...
Vessel is far more mature than The Primordial Temple, and I think it shows in not only the structures of the songs that's far more complex but the artwork and general feeling all together.
Whereas The Primordial Temple consists of a compilation of tracks written during the formation of the band, we had yet to really find our own sound. So I think that The Primordial Temple is more of a collection of songs rather than a real thought through album, as Vessel really is.
I like it if a Heavy Metal band does not put the classic themes such as dragons, warriors, mythology, history, pride, etc into their lyrics, but they falls directly on the occult dark and satanic themes. If the music is adapted to them, which is your case, then it's perfect. Why have you chosen this dark version of Heavy Metal?
It all came natural to us since we all are explorers of the mind, and interested in these kind of topics. So I guess it's not as much of a choice as you might think, it is what we can and want to create. I feel no relation to the dungeons and dragons type of lyrics, and it's really important for us for the lyrics to have a meaning.
Have you written material for the new full-length such as we know it from a CD or even you were throwing some songs up? In my view, all the tracks are on a high level and every single one is breathtaking by thought out melodies, killer leads, crushing drums, bass and crazy vocals! Album should have a certain chemistry of music, atmosphere, feelings, art presentation, it is basically a complex thing and especially must to have talent and proper feeling. Do you think you're the right bunch of people where everything fits together well?
Songs have grown and evolved a lot during the process of writing them. They never really become set in stone until you actually record them. The tracklist and flow of the album was something we worked on a lot to make perfect, and I think it's equally important to the feeling of the album as the songs themselves. It must be a natural process, because if something is forced you can tell by the end-product.
Sweden has today very strong not only extreme metal, but also Heavy Metal scene, I mean the young newer bands as In Solitude (pity they broke up), Black Magic, Black Trip, Ghost, Portrait and the like. Do you think it's just a coincidence or you all influence each other and a new wave of Swedish Heavy Metal is arising?
New, and new... I guess you could say that most have been around for a while now. I'm not a big fan of speaking about these ”scenes” and what not... Everyone does what they want to do, and it's important to not try and label everything.
Ok, that would be all from me, if I forgot something important, you have a space. Thank you for answering my questions and wish TRIAL many dark inspiration for the future, thanks again!
Thanks a lot for the interview!
Martin 22. 6. 2015 Mortuary