Black Trip covers a lot of ground with the three songs it just released as the “Heart of the Dream” EP. The disc opens with a string quartet and closes with a short, fierce jab of vintage-sounding metal. In between, the band puts its own stamp on progressive and power arrangements, and Gennaro Ammendola’s dark, submerged vocals even bring in a flourish of death and grind.
“Voice of Truth” and the title track showcase Black Trip’s smart arrangements (the biggest giveaway that this quartet was founded at Berklee College of Music). Drummer Jeff Hale sounds relentless on the song “Heart of the Dream,” providing a common thread as the rest of the band darts in and out of elements you’d find in thrash and power-metal tunes. The strings that open the tune resurface midway through as a nice counterpoint to Ben Levin’s guitar leads.
“Voice of Truth” likewise has a tiered arrangement, but this time, the rhythm section conjures a more dramatic sweep, and the band transitions from the prog-thrash of the opener to a more classic style of headbanging.
“Wings of Steel” is the shortest of the three songs and the one that shows Black Trip unafraid to just go for the jugular with a burst of guitar riffs and aggressive attitude.