Trespass – Footprints in the Rock (Mighty Music)

Thursday, 18th January 2018
Rating: 8/10

Certified veterans of the NWOBHM, Sudbury’s Trespass, like many of their contemporaries, got off to a blazing start, then split up well before their time. From their 1979 formation to their initial 1982 dissolution, Trespass was in league with the Angel Witches, Iron Maidens and Saxons of the world, taking part in the influential Metal for Muthas compilation that was supposed to lead them to a major label deal. However, typical lineup issues sideswiped the band’s progress and by ’82, they were done. Their subsequent reformation in 1993 bore the Head studio album. It took another 23 years before 2015’s self-titled album came to roost, with Footprints in the Rock following thereafter.

In somewhat of the same fashion as Diamond Head’s excellent 2016 return-to-form self-titled album, Footprints in the Rock relies on bedrock songwriting staples of hooks, melody and conventional structures. Vocalist/guitarist Mark Sutcliffe’s blues-soaked, easy-going vocals provide classic, tuneful moments, like on “Momentum” and the twin-guitar soaked “Mighty Love.” The album’s climax comes via “Little Star,” a hereby heroic number written in the vein of early NWOBHM cuts with the proper amount of gallantry and melodic surge.

Perhaps the real catch with all of these NWOBHM bands is that they’re doing it now simply for the love of it. The cream has long risen to the top; it’s now simply a matter of trying, in part, to make up for lost time. Put Trespass into that category. On Footprints in the Rock, the Brits have churned out a time-honored, no-frills metal album…just like how they would have drawn it up over three decades ago.

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