My dearly departed and much missed mother often used to say to my father ‘If you’ve nothing good to say, say nothing at all’, and, following that principle, after listening to The Three Tremors‘ second album, Guardians of the Void, for the first time, I was sorely tempted to submit a review of the record that featured it’s title at the top of the page and my name at the bottom… with a twenty line blank space in between.
However, I’ve persevered with the album on your behalf, and there are some good moments to enjoy amidst the toddlers-running-wild-on-red-cordial screaming. The band’s last album was panned in many quarters for simply being too much, and here the trio have sensibly dialled things back a little, in the process allowing Harry Conklin – the least tremorous but most distinctive of the three – a little more space to breathe.
Consequently. on tunes like Kryptonian Steel and especially Crucifier, the band hit career-best form without having to resort to overkill all the time. Even here, elements of the group’s ‘more is more’ philosophy are evident, but it does seem that more thought has been given to vocal arrangement and where each voice fits most comfortably. If you listen to Ripper Owens‘ performance on the recent KK’s Priest album, where he sings on a lot of similar, sub-Painkiller heavy metal, the impact of a single voice unencumbered by constant extraneous wailing, seems much more intense – and therefore is more successful.
Frailty and Chained to the Oar are not bad either, although all these tracks are marred by lyrical content that doesn’t bear too much inspection by anyone aged over the age of fifteen; Heavy metal is supposed to be larger than life, and is, in the finest sense of the term, utterly ludicrous at times. But it shouldn’t be stupid or lazy, as lyrics like those found on opening track Bone Breaker might appear to someone coming across this type of music for the first time.
Very much a mixed bag, then, but a definite improvement on the debut. I’ve heard reports that the band are a great live proposition, and I can quite believe that given the pedigree of the three singers involved and the vast pool of great material they’ve amassed between them. It’s an undisputed fact that Sean Peck, Harry Conklin and Ripper Owens are very good heavy metal singers. However, unless they pull their fingers out significantly, I don’t think I’ll be coming back for album number three.
Guardians of the Void is out now.