Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review of "Step Inside" by Troubled Horse

Buy this album

1. Tainted Water
2. Bring My Horses Home
3. Sleep in Your Head
4. Another Mans Name
5. All Your Fears
6. One Step Closer to My Grave
7. Shirleen
8. As You Sow
9. Don't Lie
10. I've Been Losing

Troubled Horse is a hotly-tipped heavy garage rock band from Orebro, Sweden. A town that brought us a second wave of vitally cool hard rock bands such as Witchcraft and Graveyard. Coincidentally, Troubled Horse features three members of the original Witchraft line-up, one of which (bassist Ola Henriksson) is still a current member. Lead guitarist John Hoyles parted ways from Witchcraft a few years ago to concentrate on his other band, Spiders and these frantic rockers, of course.

Despite the collective members association with the aforementioned band and origins, Troubled Horse is most definitely an institution in its own right. The raw and melodic song writing skills of singer/guitarist Martin Heppich combines the hard edged spirit of 70's US bands such as Dust and Pentagram, with an altogether more soulful 60's MC5 vibe, making them very unique and fresh. Just what the rock and metal scene needs right now!

Troubled Horse has built a cult following over the past few years and Step Inside is hugely anticipated by fans. Crammed full of instantly memorable hard rocking, foot-stomping anthems such as Shirleen, One Step Closer to my Grave, and Fear, Troubled Horse are ready for action and ready to be heard!

The album starts with the very old school blues oriented heavy metal in its styling, “Tainted Water.” Bringing you great lead diddles, extremely catchy riffs, and well done solos. These guys definitely belong in the 70s the way they sound. The vocals are great on the next track, “Bring My Horses Home,” and kind of remind of bands like Depeche Mode and the like. This track flowed in a really groovy way, the bass really adds to the awesome, and the solo is really jazztastic. Continuing with great vocals is the softer ballad “Sleep in Your Head.” The bass riffs are amazing, as well as the guitar. This is one of my favourites on the album. The southern soulful vibe I got off of “Another Mans Name” is intense. The guitar riffs are really catchy in their ways and the drums fit the vibe as well. This is another great track and another favourite. “All Your Fears” is a great one to sway side to side with. The organ really added to the overall feel. It’s a really mellow, chilled out, groovy masterpiece, but about half way it gets heavier with catchy riffs and nice lead bits, as well as a solo.

A great mix of soft vocals and screams comes with the next track, “One Step Closer to My Grave.” The lead riffs are undeniably incredible and the mix of heavy and blues inspirations Troubled Horse combines is too good. “Shirleen” brings riffs that are very catchy in their nostalgic feel. I kind of wish this track was longer so the epic riffs would stay for a while longer. There is also an impressive solo near the end. The vocals kind of reminded me of Ozzy Osbourne a little bit on the next track, “As You Sow.” The riffs and solo were filled with blues and old school heavy metal which sounded good. “Don't Lie” had a wild west feel the way the guitars were laid out.. It made me feel like going out to an old style country town and challenging their best shooter to a quick draw gun fight. The vocals and backing on this are really great on the last track, “I've Been Losing.” The organ and guitars complimented each other, especially half way through with the harmonization of the two. The organ and guitar solos near the end were badass.

Being three quarters of the original line-up of Witchcraft, one automatically assumes that Troubled Horse have a tight sound which is filled with perfection. One’s assumption would be correct as Martin Heppich’s vocals are impressive, along with his and John Hoyles’ lead guitar, Ola Henriksson lays down some epic bass lines, and Jens Henriksson keeps the groove going on the drums. I highly recommend picking this album up as it is one of the best old school heavy metal albums of the year.

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