The Three Tremors - The Three Tremors

The Three Tremors cover
The Three Tremors
The Three Tremors
Steel Cartel Records
The Three Tremors was an initial idea, about bringing together Halford, Dickinson and Tate (who’s a hi-Baritone, by the way) that was dropped almost two decades ago and didn’t really bear any fruits, as it never really got beyond a couple of songs written, with the busy schedules of the three never allowing it any proper consideration. Enter Cage’s Sean Peck, who decided to take that idea and run with it, while actually making the numbers by asking Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-Judas Priest, ex-Iced Earth, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) and Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin (Jag Panzer, Titan Force, Satan’s Host), to join him. A crowdfunding campaign and some delays later and a tour that un-orthodoxically preceded the release, the album was released in January 2019.
In essence this is the best Cage album in a while (since the backing band is more or less Cage) with two guest vocalists. It’s even more over the top than anything they’ve done previously, lyrically with a concept that would make both Judas Priest and Manowar respective catalogs seem profound, by comparison.
The album is pretty much typical classic (American) heavy/power metal, but what seems to be both its charm, as well as its Achilles heel, seems to be the fact that there seems an insistence for the three vocalists to interject into each other’s performances, which at times can sound pretty chaotic. Conklin and Owens seem to be the more dominant, or at least timbre wise, instantly recognizable, with Peck often doubling them. Sometimes this is done gracefully, but when all three have a go at it, it goes a bit pear shaped.
“Invaders from the Sky” that opens the album is pretty impressive, mostly as it introduces the whole “style” of the vocal triad and because of its immediate pedal to the metal nature, but once it fully deploys, it quickly has its ups and downs.
“Bullets for the Damned” continues with the over the top vocal falsetto madness and comes with a ridiculous video that if the three individuals weren’t ashamed to be in… then I honestly dunno what might make em feel shame.
“When the Last Scream Fades” allows Owens to be a bit more prominent, then Conklin etc. and this serialization seems to work a bit better in terms of the vocal mix. Some good vocal lines there too, but not during the chorus.
“Wrath of Asgard” has some decent ideas and it’s slower and heavier still, but also feels like a bit of a grind, as it tries to go Nordic…
“The Cause” might actually be the better song on offer, with an interesting riff and even a conscious effort to compartmentalize the vocal work a bit, but not during the chorus. It’s mostly saved by Conklin’s nice vocal work during some verses and the interesting bridge.
“King of the Monsters” is a godzilla sized anthem that takes what’s good about “The Cause” and stomps all over it, but has some nice if not a little generic soloing.
“The Pit Shows No Mercy” again seems the tendency to use Conklin’s strong full voice as a leading one often, but despite its best intentions and Owen’s meanest banshee screams it doesn’t rise above mediocrity.
“Sonic Suicide” is a slower more melodic song, with the drumming becoming too pronounced and the instruments lower; the vocalist take turns delivering the verses in a song that ain’t too bad, but feels a little silly – keeping with the whole “bonkers” concept about magic “heavy metal”, bullets and sonic ninjas etc… it’s a mashup, dreamt up in the innermost ring of hell, and probably reserved for the unlucky completists that will decide to add this album to their collections.
“Fly or Die” is the second song in a row that seems to have a rather different mix and is an attempt to do a Maidenesque style songs about dogfights. “Aces High” anyone? Not anywhere near.
“Lust of the Blade” is more mashed up vocal madness… a nice idea for the chorus, probably over complicated by having three vocalists instead of one.
“Speed to Burn” only speeds up halfway and it seems like a competition between all for who can let out the wickedest sounding shriek. Thus it becomes irksome rather quickly.
Lastly, the title track, “The Three Tremors”, might manage the balance between the three “tremors” better, but it is hardly something to write home about.
In reality this is a Cage album that ends up sounding like worse Liege Lord meets Helstar with some over the top vocal histrionics by three of the better vocalists of the genre, ending up almost canceling each other. It must also be a bit of downer for Peck who’s pretty much eclipsed by the other two, for the most part in an album of his own making. Die hards and completists might enjoy this over the top romp that seems unlikely to become a heavy metal institution.