Lords of the Trident - 2018
Shadows from the Past Double LP Release
by Tommy Rage
Lords of the Trident on the cover of December 2018 Max Ink
Fans of metal music know that Madison has a long-time history of great metal bands. What fans in Madison may not know, is that metal music actually originated here in Madison. During an ancient volcanic eruption, Fang VonWrathenstein was born from metal and steel to begin his quest to create the most metal band in the world. With epic battles, worldwide voyages and plundered treasures, Lords Of The Trident is five talented musicians: Fang VonWrathenstein (vocals), Asian Metal (guitar), Baron Taurean Helleshaar (guitar), Pontifex Mortis (bass) and Master Hercule “Herc” Schlagzeuger (drums).
Throughout their conquest of metal mayhem, Lords Of The Trident has released three previous albums which metal peasants have scavenged up. Shadows From The Past, their 2018 release is another tome of timeless metal. Declared as the Most Metal Band on Earth, Lords Of The Trident took time away from their global domination to discuss their new album Shadows From The Past, and their upcoming European conquest.
Flaunting a complete dominance of metal, Fang VonWrathenstein (vocals) screams over the dredging bass of Pontifex Mortis on the album’s first song “Death Dealer”. “Zero Hour” and “Tormentor” continue the brilliant metal assault, being forged in unison by guitarists Asian Metal and Baron Taurean Helleshaar. The vocal range of Fang VonWrathenstein is impressive, but something of a natural gift.
The perfect war-cry song, “Death Dealer” begins the battle. Fang VonWrathenstein (vocals) explains how making ‘Death Dealer” began. “A lot of the vocal training done in the past is essentially do to my adoptive barbarian parents. They taught me their war cries of their people and that was actually a really really good vocal warm up; with the shouting of a battle cry and running into the fray. That kind of power comes from working on that over the many centuries. I’ve been working with a vocal coach who is with the Madison Opera. He has a doctorate and it’s been fantastic to work with him and strive towards a sound which could not only melt faces, but metal as well; to turn my voice into a weapon.”
Lords Of The Trident use a full force attack, not only to the opponents of metal, and their metal domination, but also as a group when it comes to writing a new song. “The Party Has Arrived”, “Zero Hour” and “Tormentor” are perfect examples of that full band-type sound. “The interesting thing about writing a song,” explains Fang, “is that usually Asian Metal (guitar) or Baron Taurean Helleshaar (guitar) will meddle in their fortress of solitude or cavernous practice paces for 25 or 26 hours a day. And they will come up with something. With ‘Tormentor’ I really didn’t have a good starting point on what the music was about. I was stuck on ‘Tormentor’ for a while when I asked Asian Metal what the song was about. He didn’t even skip a beat when he said, ‘I think it’s about an out of control asteroid mining space ship that runs amok and destroys galaxies!’ I said, ‘Duh, of course’ [laughter]. I didn’t even second guess that. When Asian Metal says what a song feels like to him, he is usually right, in this case, he was 100% right!”
“Chasing Shadows”, Brothers Cain” and “The Nameless Tomb” were additional lambs brought to the slaughter by the extraordinary bass playing of Pontifex Mortis. “He [Pontifex] expressed some interest with additional involvement with this album, I think you hear that shine through not only on ‘Chasing Shadows’”, explains Fang, “but stuff like ‘Figaro’ where he switches between finger-picking and using a pick. And ‘Nameless Tomb’ where there is just his bass, drum and my vocals for a lot of the song. I think that aspect of writing really breaks the mold and allows him to be more creative.”
The creative an edgy writing style of all the band members has matured to a full group sound, thanks in part to their years of tight live performances and cult-like following in Madison. Adding to this high energy feel is new drummer, Master Hercule “Herc” Schlagzeuger. Fang laughs when he thinks of Herc’s intial audition, “[Herc] joined the band about a year and a half ago. When he came in, he just leveled the place. Nobody even stood a chance against him; he is so technically amazing. He had been masquerading as a mortal jazz and funk musician, a lot the licks are from that and from metal. It’s one of those things that is very unique, especially when mixing the album. Some of his ‘off-beat’ stuff was removed, and he said, ‘No, No, they were supposed to be on the off-beats’ [laughter]. It was both fun and an education on the more technical drum parts.
With all these technical and tightly orchestrated songs, “Burn It Down (With Fire)” scorches the landscape with a duet by Brittany Slayes of Unleash The Archers. “She was kind enough to lend her vocal powers to that track, but she also appeared in the video as well. She is an incredialbe vocalist, and an incredible person, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the stage with her before and she, along with The Archers are a Canadian National treasure [laughter]. It’s an honor to have her appear on this album and a highlight of my immortal life.”
Shadows From The Past is everything a metal fan could want. From its amazing duet, to its symphony-esque metal tales of “The Gatekeeper”, The Lords Of The Trident look to Europe for their next conquest. “We’ve done Canada a couple of times, not sure if that counts as international, but we are doing Germany next year. We are waiting to hear about two festivals which want to have us, and build from there. Definitely going to try to hit up the Czech Republic, Belgium for sure, maybe Amsterdam or something like that. This will be our first foray into Europe. We do get a lot of comments and inquiries from Germany and fans who have wanted to see us over there for a long time.”
There is no doubt that the power and energy of this Madison favorite is well deserved. With their on-spot rhythms and guitars mixed with a full vocal range and power choruses, both familiar and new, Lords Of The Trident are definitely the true rulers of metal.
Find their new album available on vinyl, dual 45 LP and mp3 download at the band’s website LordsOfTheTrident.com or join their Patreon to find about secret concerts and more.
Catch Lords of the Trident opening for Marty Friedman and Immortal Guardian at the High Noon Saloon on February 10, 2019.(4972) Page Views Lords of the Trident - 2018 Online:
Lords of the Trident - 2018
CD: Shadows from the Past Record Label: Junko Johnson Records