Well here is a great blast from the past and a nod to the future courtesy of NWOBHM band Troyen with this Anthology (1981/2019) album. Released via Classic Metal Records, this double CD contains everything the band have recorded. CD 1 contains a four track demo from 1981, one track from 1982 and the four track Finish What You Started EP from when they reformed in 2014 after splitting up in 1982. CD 2 contains the five track Storm Child EP from 2017, the five track A New Dawn EP from 2019 and ‘Crazy Lady’, the final song from their comeback gig at Brofest in 2015.
Fronted by Steve McGuire, one of two of the original line up when they formed in Warrington 1980, (the other being Jeff Baddley on drums), CD1 kicks off from 1981 with ‘Dreams Never Lie’ as the band show off their youthful exuberance as it goes from melodic rock to an adrenaline rush of heavy metal. ‘Futures Friends’ I think is their heaviest song to date and the recording levels must have been in the red here as they lock in tight for a full throttle five minutes. ‘Don’t Send Me To War’ is an edgy rocker with some biting guitar fills throughout and the songs lyrics are as relevant now as back then. ‘Crazy Lady’ is as raw as you like as the riffs brought to mind the heavier side of Molly Hatchet. ‘Free Wheelin’ from 1982 is a good old fashioned thumper as Jeff hits hard and heavy throughout as Steve belts out the lyrics with aplomb.
Fast forward to their comeback in 2014 sees the hefty power chords of ‘Backlash’ live up to its title, is given an extra edge from an Alice Cooper like snarled vocal and heavies up midway for a dose of headbanging grooves. ‘Finish What You Started’ sums up their return with a lyric of “Finish what you started, never give in”. It’s a bass guitar doomy number backed by solid riffing and a tasty bluesy outro. The main riff for ‘Syrian Lady’ grabs you from the off as Steve’s vocals make it even more gripping. ‘First Blood’ is another top quality comeback tune proving there is still a lot of life in the band as a ‘Live Wire’ like intro speeds up to heavier, snare driven passages. CD2 starts from 2017 as the Storm Child EP begins with its title track that has NWOBHM running through its veins. Pummeling bass guitar runs dominate this hectic headbanger.
‘Flight Of Fantasy’ is all melody with muscle here as an intense vocal is backed by bruising riffs and rib rattling drum patterns. ‘Cheatin’ ups the heaviness ante with powerful riffs and molten twin guitar solos. ‘Dreams Never Lie’ is as manic as the 1981 version but with stronger backing vocals. Also from the same year, ‘Futures Friends’ has stood the test of time as they attack it with the same vigour. Astounding! 2019 sees the A New Dawn EP brighten up with ‘Lady Evil’, a strong opener with a spotlight stealing main riff backed by a sleazy vocal. ‘Don’t Send Me To War’, like the 1981 version, still hits hard with lyrics of “I don’t want much, I don’t make the law. All I’m asking is, don’t send me to war”. Eerie vibes flow through ‘Nightmare’ as a haunting keyboard intro, laid back guitar lines and a morose vocal heavies up as kick drums pick up the pace for a frenetic wah wah drenched outro.
‘Syrian Lady’ seems to be delivered with more panache than the 2014 take and an extended ‘Don’t Send Me To War’ is nicely jammed out as this thoroughly enjoyable album ends on ‘Crazy Lady’ from the Brofest 2015 gig. This no overdubbed mixing desk recording sees a warts and all thrash out! 2020 sees a busy Troyen recording and releasing a brand new studio album in the summer.
Troyen band line up 2020 :-
Steve McGuire – Lead guitar/lead vocals.
Jeff Baddley – Drums/backing vocals.
Steve Haslam – Lead guitar.
Mark Notley – Bass guitar.
Anthology (1981/2019) album track listing :-
The Demo EP (recorded at Amazon studios Liverpool,1981).
Dreams Never Lie.
Don’t Send Me To War.
Free Wheelin (recorded at Crow Studios, Newton Le Willows 1982).
Finish What You Started EP (recorded at Elusive Recording Studio, St. Helens 2014).
Finish What You Started.
Storm Child EP 2017.
Flight Of Fantasy.
Dreams Never Lie.
A New Dawn EP 2019.
Don’t Send Me To War.
Don’t Send Me To War (extended version).
Crazy Lady (recorded live at Brofest 2015).