Album Review: Realm of the Tormentor by Dream Tröll (Self Released)

UK traditional metallers, Dream Tröll, are back with their latest album, Realm of the Tormentor which will be released on the 2nd of July.

The Leeds, Yorkshire based band play rock and metal with a traditional sound, dipping toes into thrash, power, hard rock and more while always staying high energy and high spirited.

Dream Troll - Realm of the Tormentor Line Up

 

A firm favourite of all here on GBHBL, Dream Tröll have, in my eyes, revitalised traditional heavy metal in recent years. As a genre, the titled NWOTHM (New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal) is plenty strong in the UK, don’t get me wrong. There are some great bands available to get stuck in to that try to encapsulate that nostalgic spirit but for me, it is Dream Tröll that capture it best, and as such, have my full attention. They managed to be modern but capture that spirit, energy and feel good factor that really does grab your attention. Music that makes you rock out and smile and what more could you possibly ask for?

Realm of the Tormentor is the band’s 3rd full length, following 2019’s Second to None and the debut, 2017’s The Knight of Rebellion. We also has the excellent EP The Witch’s Curse in 2018 so one hell of an output so far in their career. Dream Tröll also happen to be the last band I saw live pre our first lock down here in the UK when they played London with Hanowar, Riot City and Traveler.

Dream Troll - Realm of the Tormentor Logo

So, with all that building up in my mind, I go into Realm of the Tormentor with high expectations and utter confidence.

Realm of the Tormentor comes with 6 new tracks on it starting with our introduction to The Tormentor. Released as the lead single, my god what an immense song this is. If you listen to this track and don’t have a beaming grin on your face you may be broken. The bass led verses are brilliant, the vocals are fantastic but as brilliant as the build up is, just wait for that chorus to drop. It’s so good, so catchy – you wont forget it quick.

With me now suitably pumped up, the goodness continues to rain down with She Got the Devil Inside. I love the tone on the guitars in the intro. It really does pack an 80’s vibe and instantly gets your head nodding and foot tapping. The chorus is another banger. Not quite as catchy as The Tormentor but not far off and I’m quickly shouting along with “She Got the Devil Inside”. The solo sits nicely on a fuzzy bed of bass really giving extra emphasis to the screeching strings. What I really love about this song though are the little details. The gentle backing vocals in the verses, the synth sound in the slower melodic section, the time changes with the drums – its little moments where the band’s attention to detail shines through and makes you even more appreciative.

Winner Takes Nothing comes next and keeps the spirits high with a catchy groove laden rhythm. I love the vocal delivery in the verses here. The little second line of gang vocals styled shouts is really great. The chorus is catchy though the first time I heard the higher pitch line of “Hell for Leather”, I did chuckle. I like it, it just surprised me – in a good way. The negative is I am now trying to sing along with it and I sound terrible. Its a cracking track though, joking aside with an immense instrumental section that really showcases how tight the band are musically.

Here Comes Chaos has a darker tone to it overall. We still get the catchiness, the strong vocals, consuming rhythm and the mesmerising guitar work but with an added bit of menace. Another great chorus and a perfectly placed bit of synth that accents the song in just the right places. We get some really nice blasts of meaty drumming that bring the chaos the song titled threatens us with. The way they blend this heavier sound in with their signature style is a real win.

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Watch It Burn continues the darker vibe with powerful drum blasts, catchiness by the bucket load and of course, a now signature Dream Tröll masterful chorus. Its a head banger, a high energy, sing along, air puncher of a track. The vocals are strong and again the use of the backing vocals is so clever. They add so much to the feel of the song.

So we reach the end of this journey with the near 7 minute long As Death Rains From the Sky. It takes all of 30 seconds before I am fully invested in the track, air drumming and head banging along. Amazing. I love how the song builds as it goes, the vocals grow with intensity through the excellent backing. The drums add more and more beats in a song that is up there with the best Dream Tröll have released to date. The solo is mind blowing, as is the bass which again really stands forward prominently.

Then it happened and I had to gather my jaw up from the floor. The little synthy melody played out, almost torturously, as you feel something is coming and when it comes. Wow. A huge, epic, grand, powerful, mind blowing ending verse with punchy drums, and elevated vocals to really leave you with no choice other than to replay the song again, right away.

Realm of the Tormentor is a phenomenal release jam packed full of excitement and quality. I spent most of the album beaming from ear to ear, only stopping on occasion to butcher an insanely catchy chorus. Even writing this now, I am still singing “glory be my guide” from The Tormentor. I love a lot about this album. I think the drums are on another level, the bass is treated with respect and pushed to the fore front to often steal the show, the vocals are on point and the guitar work, riffs, melodies and solos, blow my mind.

If you want an album jam packed with catchiness, huge riffs and solos and massive choruses that will stay in your head for days, Realm of the Tormentor is that album. A truly accomplished effort full of intelligence, energy and spirit that will genuinely improve your day, Dream Tröll have created an absolute gem here.

Preorder Realm of the Tormentor on Bandcamp now from here.

Dream Tröll Links

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Realm of the Tormentor by Dream Tröll (Self Released)

By Artist: Dream Tröll

Album name: Realm of the Tormentor

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