Saturday 23 April 2016

Undead Viking Mafia - No Trials For Traitors (Album Review)

Release date: April 12th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

No Trials For Traitors – Tracklisting

1.Fogrot 04:11
2.Sulde 03:13
3.Stones of Morax 04:19
4.Kreyp-Hang-er 03:11
5.The Corsair 04:12
6.Hetfields & McCoys 05:29
7.Downhill Blues 02:57
8.For Four 04:14
9.Doom Year's Eve 03:40
10.Serpentborne 04:21

Band Members:

Vocals: Juan A. Baez III
Guitars: Adam Wesolowski
Drums: Tyler Trail
Bass/Backing Vocals: Tony Bullard


I first came across Undead Viking Mafia back in 2012 when I listened to their blistering debut album Resurgens which I reviewed back when I was The Sludgelord. Fast forward 4 years later and the guys have finally returned with their new album – No Trials For Traitors.

Since then the guys have added a lot more volume and sludge based ferocity to their sound as this album is packed full of different noises to get your fists pumping in the air. What makes this album such a great listen is how the band merge different sounds such as Sludge, Stoner, Punk, Hardcore and Southern Metal for one exciting violent wild ride. Opening tracks Fogrot, Sulde and Stones Of Morax show that the band have a deep love for all things NOLA based as they take influence from Down, C.O.C and other bands of that ilk. Juan's vocals feel they merged in the legendary NOLA scene as you can hear a heavy Phil Anselmo vibe.

Undead Viking Mafia make it count where it matters and that's with the riffs. These guys excel in playing heavy fast-paced riffs that are made for rocking the fuck out to. Sure it might not sound original but these guys are still worth checking out as No Trials For Traitors has a dark underbelly running through it. Shades of PANTERA start to appear here and there especially near the start of the album and towards the very end.

This album is the sign of a band having a damn good time and they have written a strong collection of tracks that will get all you riff-loving NOLA/Southern Metal fans shouting from the rooftops to join the Undead Viking Mafia revolution. And on this evidence it's a damn good place to be.

Other great songs to check out are: Kreyp-Hang-er, Hetfields & McCoys, For Four (which features vocals from Max Rebel of ace German Rockers – PLAINRIDE) and Doom Year's Eve.

You can tell from the awesome album cover and the song titles that this album has quite rebellious streak running through it's veins. This album is very rebellious and is not afraid to unleash some heavy violent riffs when the time calls for it. Juan's vocals range from clean based vocals to more aggressive death based growls whilst still offering a heartfelt approach.

One of the stand-out things about the album is the production. It sounds super fresh and crisp. I was originally expecting a lo-fi sound but Undead Viking Mafia, Michael Lester and Daniel Ernest knocked it out of the park for this release. It sounds intense from the word go. No Trials For Traitors is 10 songs of pure high voltage fun. It isn't going to change the world of rock but damn these guys know how to have fun and they deliver the fucking goods from start to finish. Do yourself a favour and check out this excellent album now.

Words by Steve Howe