Proud Existence - The Trial

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Band/Record: Proud Existence - The Trial

Label/Matrix: NL 1988 Paladyn PLD 10188

Condition Record/Sleeve: EX+/EX+

Extra Info: Fantastic Album !! Original Holland only private press LP ... METAL MONSTER ... Wow ... ex+ dream audio, top copy  ... VERY RARE  !!

~~ like Martyr, Vortex, and Picture just to name a few more - The Dutch scene was full of innovation and character, though its biggest enemy was apparently financing and or popularity among its residents, hardly anyone has heard of these guys. Just look up about any band from Holland out of the 80's and you'll probably have some trouble finding any that are still around and managed to continue on into the 90's and to current times. Proud Existence and their brilliant EP here The Trial is
another release that can be ranked among these higher standard and obscure acts. Despite the fact that a lot of these bands weren't granted a lot of breathing room and had some drastically short life spans, they graced us with some phenomenal material worth seeking out for the real
enthusiasts.

Among most of the bands I've mentioned above Proud Existence and The Trial can be noted as one of the heaviest and darkest releases. But it'd be totally unfair to only put that out among the Dutch scene, for 84' this EP parades right alongside such monstrous classics like Jag Panzer's Ample Destruction, Griffin's Flight Of The Griffin, Omen's Battle Cry, Stormwitch's Walpurgis Night, etc ... The Trial is right up there with them in terms of heaviness, attitude, and with the power. By that, I mean it's more than safe to rightfully hail this as classic power metal!

My only slight issue with The Trial is its cloudy production. It's not really bad and the mix is extremely good, but because of its age you might find yourself blasting up the volume to get the best experience out of it. Every instrument is well balanced and Alex Roest's vocals echo away like they're being chanted in lost hallways of a deep
temple ruin. This easily adds a lot to the EP's often dark and serious tone. Roest's singing style sometimes reminds me of King Diamond from his Mercyful Fate days. He sometimes comes off as a bit monotonous and has those moan-esque "ohhh's" to a lot of the vocals (which reminds me of King Diamond here), though there are several parts in just about every track where Roest sends out a chillingly scratchy scream or yell that literally sound like he's gone insane (this is hinted at with my title for this review). The effect is incredible and pretty impacting. I couldn't imagine this EP any other way when it comes to the vocals.

For 84' it's pretty impressive to see how dominating the drums can be on this release at times with the use of a lot of double bass drumming, though with the one element that a lot of modern bands seem to forget - variety. The drums usually stampede away while solo's and buildups begin to take place. Above all I think I can just simply say that the bands pacing with the songs here is truly amazing. This is a big plus as you'll notice a lot of the tracks are on the longer side of things. The originality and variety however keeps them all fresh and enjoyable. Mosttracks include several mid-paced to fast sections that work really welltogether. Both Petri and Bijl on guitars show a lot of skill and passion with their playing. Whether it's a crunchy riff, some neoclassical shredding and soloing, or some swift hooks and harmonies, there's a lot of styles thrown in here that they combine very well. Every member here is definitely top notch.

The music here is damn heavy, dark, epic, and unadulterated classic power metal. A lot of the tracks here have some really cool and often mysterious intro's, that aren't boring or too long for their own good. They really set things up well for what to expect with the rest of the song(s). Things start off with the two very inviting numbers Right Time To Die and Deliver Or Kill, catchy NWOBHM-esque tracks that you could easily headbang away with again and again. The quick Fast Ride then strikes and basically signals a heads up of things to come. The Trial, Castles In Black, and Thou Wilt Be Avenged slam this EP into dark waters and reminds anyone that may have forgotten what power metal once meant. These three tracks have it all, the speed, the atmosphere, the eerieness, and the metal! Overall if you want some poundingly heavy metal from 84' with some powerful epic touches here and there, Proud Existence's The Trial fits the bill more than most.

€100,00