Monday 21 January 2013

Review: TraKKtor - 'Halo Of Lies'

'Halo Of Lies' 

Swedish trio TraKKtor return with their sophomore album 'Halo Of Lies' aiming to pick up where their impressive 2011's full-length début 'Force Majeure' which produced the brilliant hit 'Veil of Thorns'. Fully intent on carrying through their mission to change the meaning of ebm to “Epic Blockbuster Music”, the band's black metal rooted sound certainly gives them an aggressive injection. We've already had a hint of promising things to come with the massive 'Blitzkrieg Galaxy' precursor single last Spring. But can 'Halo Of Lies' really become the bomb the band are threatening to drop?

The album kicks off with an atmospheric but shaky intro in the form of 'Welcome To Sin City', which evokes memories of The Kovenant. It's rough, choppy sound may work well live, but on CD it is a little underwhelming. However any doubts initially raised are dispelled as the album proper kicks of with the catchy apocalyptic strains of 'The End Of Days', with it's hard beats and soaring melodies underpinned by those demoniacally distorted vocals. The band continue on this form through the likes of 'Blitzkrieg Galaxy', 'TraKKtor' and 'Hollow Spirits...' which despite their breakneck speed, keep a dance-friendly beat.
The band also slow things down on songs such as 'Drag Me to Hell' and 'The Dawn Of War', which close the album, to add some variety to the barrage. They also find time to show of their instrumental skills with 'Orbital Strike..' which sounds like a cross between Starship Troopers and The Pirates Of The Caribbean soundtracks. Should anyone want to approach the band to score a film about space pirates, I'm sure they would oblige.

With a bonus disc of varied remixes as well, 'Halo Of Lies' is a very attractive package that should serve the band well with so many potential club hits and live anthems. The album is a real game changer for the band, and the only real issues with it come in the mix which often sees the vocals too low in the mix, resulting in a swamped sound that is quite distracting. But despite this, the band more than hold their own.

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