Swedish occult metallers Trial have just unleashed their third full length entitled Motherless, which marks the beginning of their cooperation for mighty Metal Blade. We have joined them for quick conversation…
Greetings Trial and welcome to the pages of Metal Sound! How are you guys doing these days?
Fine, thanks. We are quite busy now that “Motherless” is released, so we are doing great.
The main cause for this chat is your third album entitled Motherless, so how are you satisfied with the album now that everything is said and done? Is there something you would change?
Well, it’s always a difficult process to record an album, because some of the sounds you have inside your head aren’t coming out as you would have wanted them to. But on the other hand, some of them are coming out even better. Overall, we are very satisfied with the album and wouldn’t change anything really. But you know, quite some time has passed since we finished the recording process so we had a lot of time to think about the record. The album is a footprint in time and therefore it’s useless to dwell too much in the past.
I would say that Motherless took all the elements of Trial’s sound and took them further, all segments are more accentuated and thought out. How would you comment upon this statement?
I agree. There are several segments in the songs that are really carefully crafted. We intentionally use different key-changes and experiment with odd time signatures etc. in our music. Everything is put in there for a purpose and to understand most of it you would probably need to master music theory. It’s been going on for years, but I guess that we have refined the process by now.
Superficial listeners describe Trial as Mercyful Fate copy but there is so much more in your sound than that, I would add US 80s metal bands in that equation and of course your own flavor. How would you describe the sound of Motherless and Trial as a whole?
To start with, we’ve never really listened to those US power metal bands of the 80s, so if there is similarities that is purely coincidental. But yeah, we aren’t a MF/KD copy, and if people only made an effort they would hear it too. Of course, some of your influences are hard to get rid of, but TRIAL as a band is more about creating something new, that hasn’t really been done before. And if you blend that together with our early influences you’ll get the sound of TRIAL.
While we are at it, we all know that Trial is the name of famous King Diamond song. What can you tell us about the influence that this immortal Dane has left on you?
We actually didn’t name our band after the KD song. We are also big Satan fans as well, so we took our name from their song “Trial by Fire” off the “Court in the Act” album. Although the name and word TRIAL is growing into something completely else these days. It has given us a deeper meaning. King has always been a huge influence on us in perhaps almost every aspect. You can really hear that on our early recordings, because we started out quite young, so the journey towards finding your own sound takes time. And as time passed by you assembled the right tools to navigate through your own music and ultimately you become more aware of what you are writing.
What Trial shares in common with King is the fact that heavy metal music can be otherworldly and genuinely dangerous. Do you think that this is the most important feature of Trial, the unnamed feeling you get from the music?
We focus a lot on the atmosphere in our songs when we arrange them and it could be tricky. I don’t know if it’s the most important trait of our music, but we regard it highly. Our music is art that needs to be experienced on another level and hopefully our music can be used as a portal to that state of mind.
You have just signed to Metal Blade and joined their ranks. How did this cooperation come about and are you satisfied with the cooperation until now?
We are immensely satisfied with our cooperation with Metal Blade. They knew who we were from before so it all made sense when we began contact with each other. They gave us the opportunity to make “Motherless” a reality so for that we are eternally gratified.
Speaking of which, Metal Blade has bands such as Ram, Portrait and sadly defunct In Solitude – all similar to Trial in that aspect of metal danger. All of you guys come from Sweden, what is happening out there with your scene?
We don’t really consider ourselves to be part of any scene, but obviously there are a lot great bands emerging from Sweden quite recently. We come from a small town about an hour from Gothenburg so we pretty much always have been on our own when it comes to everything.
Can you tell us something about the lyrical concept of the album, is Motherless some sort of conceptual album?
No, it’s not a conceptual album, although it deals with the same conceptual topics throughout the record. There is no real storyline, in exception of the trilogy that ends the record. The lyrics stem from depression and the deceiving force it gives birth to. It’s something that happened very suddenly so there were a lot of things that needed to be put down in writing. It’s a very personal and honest record, and it’s something I’ve been forced to embrace.
Motherless cover was done by Costin Chioreanu, same as it was with Vessel. He has graced your work with imaginative and evocative work so can you tell us something about the cooperation with that man?
He is such a talented person and to work with him is a sheer pleasure. I gave him all of the lyrics alongside with some personal notes regarding each lyric. From there he did his personal interpretation of what the lyrics and the record is all about. What we can tell from the artwork is that he understands us to the fullest. Always grasping the ungraspable.
You guys were forced to change your name to Trial (Swe) just recently, can you tell us something about that legal battle?
We felt that as we grew bigger as a band and were given the opportunity to sign with Metal Blade, we needed to distinguish ourselves from any other band named Trial, because honestly there are a few out there. So in consultation with MB we decided it made sense to make the change.
The news about the terrorist attacks in Stockholm came just the moment I am typing this. How do you see the current political climate in the world and your country, does politics interest you at all?
You can’t close your eyes to what’s happening in the world right now. People worry a lot of what will happen in the near future and the Swedish people doesn’t realize that we live in one of the safest countries in the world and instead they become afraid, which is basically the wrong way to approach this issue. But we don’t really engage too much in politics and doesn’t incorporate those topics into our music. We have a different philosophy when it comes to life than most of the others.
Where can we expect to see you in the next few months, are some tours already planned to promote Motherless?
There is nothing I can confirm right now, but eventually we will make some noise and you will get the chance to see us perform the new incarnations from the album.
That would be all for this time! I would like to thank you for this chat and wish you all the best, your last message….
Thanks for the interview and hopefully we’ll play somewhere close to all of you really soon!
Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic