Each week, CMN’s Kevin Ashley delves into the vast expanse of metal and electronic music, bringing recommendations, reviews, and news. Do not expect to find safe, chart-topping music here. Welcome to Headbanging on the Dance Floor.
This week, I’m reviewing the Three Tremor’s self-titled debut, The Three Tremors. I had never heard of the band before, but found out it has not one, but three main vocalists: Tim “The Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth), Sean “The Hell Destroyer” Peck (Cage), and Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin (Jag Panzer). I know that Owens and Peck have a pretty wide vocal range, so this will be interesting to see how the vocalists mesh their lines.
Originally, the Three Tremors was going to feature Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) and Geoff Tate (Queensryche). Unfortunately, this incarnation was doomed from the start, never progressing beyond the initial brainstorming stage. The idea was later revived by Sean Peck, who gave Owens and Conklin a call. Owens replied, interested by the thought of working together. After the band was formed, they toured Europe before finally putting together an album and touring the US. Enough of the background though, how is the music?
First up is the track, “Invaders From The Sky”. The vocal assault is instant, falsettos on prominent display. Shortly after the intro, the drums and guitar picks up, moving between midpaced and fast patterns. The double bass hits hard during the pre-chorus and chorus, remniscient of Painkiller-era Judas Priest. However, I do have some gripes with the track. The vocals in the intro are quite sudden, leaving no room for listeners to adjust to the three vocalists. There is generally a lack of catchiness throughout the track, but I do like the part with the lines “And now it’s time to spill their yellow blood/ And show them just what we’re made of”. So far, some mild disappointment with the first track, but there’s still a whole album to listen to.
“Bullets For The Damned” opens with a double bass attack, like “Leather Rebel”, before transitioning into a sharp galloping riff. This is what I expected to hear of the band! It’s catchy, has nice instrumentals, and soaring vocals. Hearing “buuuuullllleeeettts for the daaaammmmnnneeed! Pull the trigger!” gave me a quick laugh, showing there’s no shortage of heavy metal cheese to discover.
“When The Last Scream Fades” opens slower again, but I think this intro meshes way better than “Invaders From The Sky”, since the opening vocals are more restrained. There’s a short break, then the instruments go in at top speed with a classic German power metal sounding riff and drum pattern. There’s a nice, long guitar solo, and the song is capped off by the slow intro playing again.
“Wrath of Asgard” features a headbanging mid-paced riff, while the vocals are toned down from the previous track. The pays stays the same throughout the song, but it’s nice to feature some variety in vocal and instrumental approach, as the constant bid to out-scream the other vocalists was getting a little tiring.
“The Cause” is similar to “Bullets For The Damned” with the turned-up-to-eleven start, and pretty much stays there. I can tell this one is heavily influenced by Iron Maiden, with the “Aces High”-esque chorus and very melodic guitar lines. So far, the album is pretty good, with the exception of the first song.
The next song, “King Of The Monsters”, slows down again, and is clearly referencing the two metal legends Ronnie James Dio (Rainbow, Dio, Black Sabbath) and Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead). It picks up the pace shortly after the intro, with a galloping main riff. The guitar solo in this one is great, with lots of technical flairs.
“The Pit Shows No Mercy” features a very thrash metal opening riff – similar to Lich King’s “Offense”, which is surprising. This is truly a headbanging song, filled with fast and furious instrumentation, basically speed metal (the faster version of traditional heavy metal).
“Sonic Suicide” starts off with a slower chugging riff, another welcome break from the fast pace blazers. Similar musically and vocally to “Wrath of Asgard”.
“Fly or Die” opens with a sample of Roosevelt’s famous “Day of Infamy” speech, which for those who don’t know, was spoken after Japan attacked Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor in 1941, bringing the US into World War II. This song is another German power metal influenced one, and is very dynamic. I can easily say this is the best on the album.
“Lust of the Blade” starts off with a gravelly scream, and a melodic guitar line in the background, before the riffs kick in. This one follows the classic heavy metal formula, with the vocals toned down to a more reasonable level. If someone was looking for the most “old” sounding track, it’s this one.
“Speed to Burn” is another slow starter, but picks up about a third of the way through the song. It uses the same three pitch vocal approach as “When The Last Scream Fades”, with the line “speed, speed, speed to burn”. Musically, it’s fast like the aforementioned song.
“The Three Tremors” is the last track on the album. Starting with another melodic line and somewhat fast paced riff, it goes into German power metal territory again with the double bass. There’s some pinch harmonic usage, which was very nice, and each riff is quite the headbanger. Definitely the second best track.
Overall, the album was a good, solid heavy metal exercise, with influences ranging from Judas Priest, to Iron Maiden and German power metal (I really use this one a lot, don’t I?) However, the ever-present vocal acrobatics can start to wear on you after awhile, so I personally think this album is best taken in chunks.
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