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Review: Rivetskull - Trail of Souls
Trail of Souls

Label: Independent
Year released: 2020
Duration: 39:48
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: May 14, 2020
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Readers Rating
Trail of Souls

Rated 4/5 (80%) (4 Votes)

Rivetskull are a Seattle-based Heavy Metal band that are comprised of long-time musicians known for touring with tribute bands like No Quarter (Led Zeppelin) and Rising (Dio). With that kind of pedigree, you'd expect their sound to be a professionally made love letter to old school Heavy Metal that sounds like it was dug out of a time capsule from 1979, and in the case of their debut Trail of Souls, you'd be absolutely right.

These guys are very clearly into older Rainbow and Dio's solo work, as everything from the rocking riffs to the slightly epic songwriting bent to the strong Dio-esque vocals and lyrics of Chad McMurray would have fit right in on albums like Long Live Rock and Roll and Holy Diver. This album is evenly split between vintage Metal tracks like "Forever" and the killer "Mystified" and songs that lean more on older Hard Rock like the fist-pumping title track and album closer "Crash and Burn". They also take a stab at making an epic with "Another Way to Heaven", which has some cool riffs and a powerful performance from McMurray, but it's a little too ponderous for its own good, and by the time it gets going the song just sort of ends. Their cover of "Gates of Babylon" is damn spot on, however, and it favorably reinforces those Rainbow comparisons.

So this isn't a band that's doing anything innovative or original, but considering they've been fans of this style since it began, that's clearly a point of pride for them. With the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal going strong, I'm a little surprised I haven't heard more bands that work in this specific vein, but I'm glad that Rivetskull have staked their claim to it, and I'll be surprised if anyone beats them at their own game anytime soon. A band to watch.

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