Trespass – ‘Footprints In The Rock’ (Mighty Music) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Phil Cooper   
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 04:20

Trespass artworkFollowing a brief but bright start in the late Seventies into the early Eighties, NWOBHM flag bearers Trespass are set to return with the latest studio offering. 


Having released a string of singles and EPs in their early career and featuring on the compilation ‘Metal for Muthas, Vol. II’ there seemed to be a future opening up for the band. However, for several reasons, the band disbanded and aside from various reworkings of greatest hits albums and appearance on other compilations there was little to nothing forth coming from Trespass. Then following a release of a live album in 1999 and a new re-recording and remastering of original tracks, ‘Trespass’ was released in 2012 and rekindled an interest in the almost forgotten sound. 


‘Footprints In The Rock’ features not only brand new material but a new look line-up which still includes the founding members of Mark and Paul Sutcliffe. Labelled as the comeback album, can it bring them back from the mists of metal memory?


‘Momentum’ kicks things off with a no nonsense pounding drum beat leading to a driving guitar rhythm. Reviving the original sounds and styles of the early NWOBHM genre. Head banging riffs and big vocals that carry over the whole instrumentation. ‘Be Brave’ carries on this theme on even further with an almost Judas Priest style song structure including Halford-esque vocal phrasing. A twin guitar harmony provides a catchy hook and the powerhouse of bass and drums keeps the beat pounding along. 



One of the highlights on the album comes from ‘Mighty Love’, another catchy duel guitar melody provides the intro before the full band kicks in for a fast paced easy to sing along to track.  The use of staccato drumming in the breaks and palm-muted guitar chords in the verse may well be taken straight out of metal music 101, but when used at the right times and executed well they are tools that form a great dynamic shift that keeps the track fresh and entertaining.  The guitar intro coupled with a phase effect forms the main hook, before it is morphed into the main solo that most certainly ticks the air-guitar box as it soars clearly above the mix.


The title track presents another cut of the big metal sound that marked them out in their early days. Although some of the lyrics are a bit questionable: “A million years is just another day” With that aside, it’s still definitely a head down no nonsense rocker. Further tracks such as ‘Little Star’, ‘Weed’ and album closer ‘Music of the Waves’ cement the style and genre and lend a strong padding to the album.  Even the fantasy aspect of metal is represented here with ‘Dragons in The Mist’ and ‘Beowulf and Grendel’, the latter of which presents more excellent guitar work and a galloping riff akin to Iron Maiden, and it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to imagine Dio singing the lyrics.


Ultimately, it’s not going to be an album to please everyone, there is a lot of tried and tested techniques and ideas to be found within the song writing and it could lead to a listener feeling as if there is nothing fresh or exciting to warrant more than one listen through. There is a fair amount of heavy metal cliché on display, ‘Prometheus’ is a standout culprit of this with a predictable structure and lyrics that could very easily be a parody.  However, if the listener gets past any possible criticism this is a great metal album.  It captures the essence of NWOBHM and as a brand-new offering from a band that once rode the crest of that wave it marks a great comeback.


‘Footprints In The Rock’ is released on Friday (12 January). You can get your copy HERE.


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