The Knight of Rebellion is the debut album from Leeds based power metal band, Dream Troll. The album was released, independently, on the 19th of May this year. Dream Troll managed to get themselves a reasonable amount of press well before the release thanks to the idiocy of the British tabloid media.
Dream Troll have a guest on one of their tracks, adding spoken word, and that guest is Richard Burgon MP. Richard is the Member of Parliament for Leeds East, representing The Labour Party. He is also the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and the Shadow Lord Chancellor.
He is also a human, and one with particularly good music taste, being a fan of all things metal. A few more politicians willing to get in a mosh pit would be a great thing, especially for us fans, but really, this isn’t news. The British media, specifically The Sun tabloid (toilet paper), decided to try to ridicule Mr Burgon. The main basis of their attempt to embarrass the guy came because Dream Troll spoofed an old Black Sabbath album title, 1975’s “We Sold Our Soul for Rock and Roll”.
Here is Dream Troll’s slogan –
The S looks like Nazi symbology therefore Richard Burgon must be a Nazi sympathiser. The reasoning is that he lent vocals to a band full of assumed Neo Nazi’s in Dream Troll. Check out the article here for a laugh. Anyway, I assure you neither Richard Burgon or Dream Troll are pro Nazi in any way. Those S like symbols are from pre Roman runes called Sowilo.
To be fair, I don’t think Dream Troll are fans of pre Roman runes either. I am pretty sure the S’s looked that way because they are fans of Black Sabbath. Anyway, with that interesting and silly story out of the way, let’s get to the important stuff. Dream Troll, the band, are Rob Stringer on vocals and Simon Blakelock on the drums. Paul Carter is the guitarist while Matt Baldwinson plays bass, more guitars and adds a bit of synth.
The Knight of Rebellion has 7 tracks on it altogether and comes in at around 50 minutes in length. Dream Troll state their music is in homage to all thing metal. The things that inspired them when they were younger, and the metal clichés they still love today.
The Knight of Rebellion definitely has a real classic/traditional metal feel to it. A whole lot of NWOTHM (New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal) mixed in with soaring power metal. It really is like a wonderful step back in time to the days of bands like Saxon, Iron Maiden and Dio.
Track one, Time for Vengeance is over 8 minutes long and starts with huge soaring guitars and thunderous drum blasts before dropping into a melodic, acoustic verse. We keep switching back and forward between the softer and harder style with fist pumping, adrenaline fuelled riffs and drums followed by a gentler, more intricate melody. The vocals are high toned though more Maiden than AC/DC. They are perfectly suited to the music. It’s very exciting.
Dream Troll have serious guitar skills. Some of the leads, intros and solos are to die for. Have a listen to the quick intros to Velvet Drawbridge or Mons Ominosus. They are sublime – air guitar heaven. I could, and have restarted Mons Ominosus multiple times just to hear it again.
As for solos, where do you start. Velvet Drawbridge has a really long, quick and high toned one. As it builds in power nearing it’s end, the drums turn to rolling thunder and you will find the hairs standing up on your arms. A Fairy’s Tale and Lost in the Pages both have loads of mini solos that act as bridges between vocal sections as does Unwanted by the Gods.
It’s not all about the guitars though as there is a ton of variation on offer throughout the 7 tracks. Songs like Earthbound Betrayal, a 9 minute long epic, starts with a slower, emotional feel. Gentle drums and sweeping guitar lines suddenly switch to a bass heavy, chugging riff which sounds great with the extra high, soaring vocals.
A little finger tapping guitar section with slower vocals turns into a chunky bass and drum section. We get a cool verse with vocals leading and stop start music which almost becomes Hotel California by The Eagles for a sec. A huge instrumental turns into an even bigger solo which pulls you along on the crest of it’s waves. Epic.
More variation comes on A Fairy’s Tale. The song that features Richard Burgon. His spoken word section is really cool. It isn’t standard, reading voice. He does it very dramatically, with an Olde English style. It really switches the track to folk metal for a section. He has 3 or 4 verses, progressing the tale being told, and they are separated by more really strong guitar sections with Rob Stringer’s powerful vocals in these parts.
The lyrical content around knights, trolls, castles and drawbridges is another plus. The whole fantasy lyrical content, the long songs, the soaring melodies – it’s an awesome listen. Of course the lyrics can be seen as, maybe, a bit cheesy to some. The band certainly must have tongue planted firmly in cheek lyrically but the songs are brilliant. The riffs are phenomenal.
The Knight of Rebellion is such a cool album. Really it is. It’s an album done in homage to old school, traditional heavy metal that is done so well, it feels like an album from a band that have always existed right alongside the Maidens of this world. I expect them to have a 10 album back catalogue already. It doesn’t feel like a new entry at all. The guitars are exceptional, the vocals are strong, the bass rumbles and drums provide plenty of thunder and hold everything together solidly.
The Knight of Rebellion is an album that deserves to be heard. Its very accomplished, and for a debut, no less. Dream Troll could go on to be a real force in metal. Based on this they have the talent and the creativity – I hope they have the drive too. Expect to hear a lot more about these guys. Much like the He-Man esque character on their album cover, They Have The Power!
You can pick up The Knight of Rebellion on Dream Troll’s Bandcamp page here. It is also available on streaming services like Apple Music. You can get it from the links below too but we would advise you go to the Bandcamp page and get it from there. Support the band.
The Knight of Rebellion by Dream Troll (Self Released)
The Final Score - 9/10