Lords of the Trident
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Lords of the Trident

Madison, Wisconsin, United States

Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Band Metal Comedy


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Album Review: Death or Sandwich"

Lords of the Trident

Genre: Metal/Alternative

Released February 9, 2009

Junko Johnson Records

Reviewed May 5, 2009

After first glance at Lords of the Trident, one wonders if auditions were conducted with a time-traveling phone booth. The lead singer is clad in leather, shrieking at the camera and holding a microphone as if it will either burst into flame or be driven through a vampire’s heart. The drummer is a demon king who brandishes drumsticks over Hellboy-style horns, the base player clenches a dagger twixt his teeth and the guitarists resemble transplants from ancient Greece and feudal Japan, replacing lyres and katanas with Stratocasters.

But while the appearance may make them seem hard to take seriously, underestimating the Madison, Wisconsin-based quintet would be a mistake. The roles they inhabit are tools to craft their own style of music, a metal that owes as much to alternative rock and Dungeons and Dragons as it does to the original genre. Their first alloy of this metal is the debut album Death or Sandwich, and it proves to be as solid as if a blacksmith hammered it into place.

Structurally, most of the songs follow a basic structure, driven by the impressive vocal range of lead singer “Fang VonKillenstein” (doppelganger of Ty Christian, formerly of Paper Tiger). “Asian Metal” and the “Socrates of Shred” form crossed swords to propel each of the songs along, while the demonic drums and buccaneer bass of “Korgoth” and “Captain Bluddbeard” respectively are reliable backings to the more prominent riffs. The band plays well together, with little sign that they are overwhelming each other or detracting from a song’s structure.

The majority of Sandwich takes on a medieval subject matter, channeling Black Sabbath by way of Boris Vallejo. “The Virgin Vault” is the best example of this, built on a solid riff and percussion as VonKillenstein alternates between cackles and wails to give the picture of an epic journey. “Cliffs of Desolation” and “The Barbarian Horde” are both tracks about the impossible odds of marauders and dragons, with the guitar especially standing out and building as the battles reach their respective peaks.

As a quote-unquote fake metal band, comparisons between the Lords and Spinal Tap seem inevitable, but the former actually make for a far more credible group. While Spinal Tap played the metal role for laughs, writing songs that were deliberately over the top, the material of the Lords is a bit cleverer in its presentation. Some of the songs could pass as pop or indie rock if it wasn’t for the guitar work and shouting chorus, while others seem to imply the group has created the first instance of proper geek metal.

A case in point is the opening track – and best track – “The Robot’s Revenge.” It’s driven by excellent rapid arpeggios reminiscent of Muse’s Black Holes and Revelations, and vonKillenstein’s rapid wails of surprisingly clever lyrics: “In his laser eye no could dispute/For him forgiveness does not compute/from his Tesla coil in his metal breath/filled with 200 gigabytes of death!” Not since Flight of the Conchords has there been so entertaining of a song focusing on the robot apocalypse – and this one allows for more head-banging.

Even when Sandwich move to more general topics, they are never divorced enough from the overall tone of the album to feel separate. The lyrics of “The Road” could be easily adopted by another band as a pop song, but the drum fills are quick enough to tie it to earlier efforts and the mentions of wolves and wasteland keep things vaguely bestial. On the other side of things, “Rapeshore” is a much darker tune than earlier tracks, but the booming chorus ties to earlier tracks and also deserves praise for a channeling of Axl Rose with a solid “You’re gonna dieeee!” wail in the chorus.

By the end of the album (“City Lights,” a Van Halen-esque number that has a priceless rhyme of “road rash” with “Johnny Cash”), it is very difficult not to feel animated by the album’s energy. The variety of influences manages to make each track feel interesting without distracting from the whole, whether you prefer to play the album at an amplifier’s top level or as background music for a D&D session. The Lords played this music to have fun, and burn down some villages in the process, and it’s in that spirit that Sandwich should be enjoyed.

- Death or Sandwich may be purchased through the band’s website or through iTunes. - Les Chappell


Death or Sandwich (Album) - 2009
Live at the Frequency (DVD) - 2008



Fang VonKillenstein was born when a volcano containing metal and steel erupted at the beginning of time. His one and only mission: create the most metal band in the world. He searched across the land for many centuries, until during his travels in Greece, he heard the sound of sweep picking emanating from a cave. After fighting off the man-eating bats with his bare hands, he came upon the one known only as the Socrates of Shred. Socrates imparted his sage advice upon Fang, and the next stop was the top of the tallest mountain in Japan: Mt. Yuufretokuwiku. Quickly ascending the treacherous mountain by riding on a cloud of pure shredding guitar, they met the fierce guitar warrior known as Asian Metal. After a three day battle that left most of the surrounding mountainside in ruins (and most of its inhabitants deaf), Asian Metal decided to join the warriors on their quest.

On the voyage across the Pacific Ocean, their ship was attacked by the fierce and proud Captain Bluddbeard, whose proficiency with the bass was so well known that the waves themselves would run in fear from the swelling sounds emanating from his pirate ship. During the battle, all four of the warriors happened to strike the same chord at the same time, causing a giant tsunami which flung the two ships across the sky, eventually crash landing in Southern Wisconsin. Striking a truce, the band was now almost complete. Suddenly, from a rip in the fabric of space and time itself stepped the cyborg DANALOG. Hailing from the equatorial submersible cities of the future, DANALOG explained to the warriors that the convergence of their explosive sound without a uniting beat could threaten to destroy the very fabric of the universe.

However, during one of the Lords' most epic battles, one of DANALOG's arm servos became jammed. A tremendous buildup of pressure caused the cyborg to explode, creating a massive crater that reached to the depths of Hell itself. Seizing his chance, the demon king Korgoth escaped from Hell through the crust and emerged from the crater, hungry for souls. Socrates, in his wisdom, immediately challenged the demon king to a guitar duel - a challenge Korgoth could not deny under demon law. As the battle raged, the surrounding landscape was reduced to rubble from the tremendous force of the sonic waves. Socrates stunned the demon with his flawless sweep arpeggios, then shattered his guitar with a pinch harmonic. The demon king, now enslaved, became the new demonic drummer for the Lords.

Soon after, the LORDS manifested what mankind now knows as the most metal album ever conceived: "Death, or Sandwich". Following numerous highly publicized incidents of spontaneous combustion and/or face melting due to listening to the CD's contents, a shadowy multinational group known only as "SPIDR" amassed an army of the most battle-hardened special ops soldiers they could find. Their mission: find and imprison the LORDS in order to use their unimaginable power as a weapon. Their first target was the Socrates of Shred. Although Socrates managed to destroy a large number of the soldiers, the group's leader (codename: Red Widow) knocked him out from behind. Imprisoned, the Socrates of Shred decided to take his own life rather than be turned into a weapon. The resulting implosion wiped the prison (and a large section of the countryside) off of the map.

Weakened, but not yet defeated, the LORDS began their search for a new guitarist, all the while keeping a watchful eye for the agents of SPIDR. Traveling to Rome, the LORDS decided to attend the games at the Colosseum. There they encountered the famed Killius Maximus, an undefeated gladiator whose only weapon was shred guitar. Admiring his skill, Asian Metal leapt into the area and challenged him to a duel. Their furious playing eventually led to a massive earthquake, destroying much of the city and leaving many sections of the Colosseum in ruins. After this impressive display, the LORDS were in agreement: Killius Maximus would be the new guitarist. Thus, the LORDS were reunited, and metal reigned supreme!"