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Raider’s Sophomore LP Is A Sleeper Hit Among 2023’s Top New Hard Rock, Metal Albums

Late last week, up-and-coming independent metal outfit Raider announced a new tour schedule set to launch this month.  The North American tour, which is scheduled to launch April 14 in Toronto, ON and to run through May 14 in St. Catherine’s ON, also features performances scheduled in cities, such as Boise, ID; Los Angeles, CA and Two Rivers, WI.  The upcoming month-long tour is in support of the band’s forthcoming sophomore album, Trial By Chaos.  Scheduled for independent release Friday by the band, this eight-song record shows promise for the band as potentially one of the next big names in the hard rock and metal community.  That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the intense musical content adds even more to the album’s appeal and will be discussed a little later.  The sequencing of the overall content across the album’s 39-minute run time rounds out the album’s most important elements and puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  To that end it will also be addressed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of Trial By Chaos.  All things considered they make Trial By Chaos a sleeper hit among this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums and independent albums.

Trial By Chaos, the forthcoming sophomore album from Raider is a presentation that metal fans and the band’s established audiences alike will appreciate.  That is due in part to the record’s featured musical arrangements.  From the record’s outset to its final bars, the arrangements featured across the album blend elements of thrash and death metal within each work, creating plenty of engagement and entertainment.  While the style is relatively the same from one song to the next, leading to comparisons to works from the likes of Arch Enemy, Exodus, and Testament.  The changes in the arrangements are just enough that the sounds actually change from song to song even as the general overarching thrash and death metal approach remains throughout the album.  The result here is a collection of songs that both in terms of sound and style offer audiences plenty to appreciate right from the beginning.  This forms a solid foundation for the album’s presentation.

Building on the foundation formed by the album’s musical content is the lyrical content that accompanies said material.  From one song to the next, the themes presented in the record are mostly positive.  Though there is also at least a little bit of sociopolitical commentary in the single, ‘Rite of Conquest.’  When the band premiered the single in early February, it noted in a collective, prepared statement, the theme is that of humanity being so driven toward conquest that it has turned that drive to other planets.  In the bigger picture, this is a commentary about human greed and desire to control everything, especially through military force.

In regards to its positive, motivating content, audiences need look no further than ‘Fearless,’ which serves as the album’s midpoint, and the album’s title track, which opens the record.  ‘Fearless’ finds front man Angelo Bonaccorso delivering a message of internal strength in the song’s lead verse and chorus as he sings/screams, “Binding round the mind/Fear does form a cage/Marvelous was the dream/But the terror was great/Binding nigh deep inside/Pulsing through the veins/Claws clutching my very fate/Under the gun I’ll never bend/I’m a thorn in the flesh of doom’s evil hand/Fearless to the end.”  This message of facing off against all of that negativity in life, including in one’s own mind is not unfamiliar in the metal community, but even here it is just as hard hitting as in any other song.  The impact of the message continues in the song’s second verse, in which Bonaccorso sings/screams, “Futile to resistance/The battle’s in the brain/Trapped between chaos within and the entropy of space/Unknown adversity lying in wait/Time slowly grinding away.”  Even here, this comes across as a reference to battling mental health issues before the determination to overcome that negativity returns again in the chorus’ refrain.  The sense of determination to fight on continues even more in-depth in the song’s third verse.  There is a lot more in the third verse, but suffice it to say, the message here is entirely positive.  Together with everything else in the song, the overall lyrical content presents a welcome theme of overcoming the battle and winning the fight. When that positive message is paired with the song’s equally fiery musical arrangement, the whole makes the power in the song’s lyrical message all the more impacting.

Moving backward to the album’s title track/opener, this song’s theme also centers on overcoming adversity, but in this case it is more of a generalized adversity, more so than mental health.  This is inferred as Bonaccorso sings/screams in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Everlasting awakened abomination/The maelstrom that devours all of creation/Opens wide its spiral maw/Guiding fire/Steel me against all destruction/From wisdom, let chaos crawl/No force of evil can break my resolve/I will outlast them all/Trial by chaos/Bound for glory/My purpose is one/Trial by chaos/Endure the fury/Or fall to oblivion.”  This opener makes one think of perhaps the awakening of Cthulu or something similar, but the overall message is, again, quite clearly just that of facing negative in life; of being single-minded in overcoming that adversity, whatever it may be.  The message is furthered in the song’s second verse, which states, “Unafraid/I’ll never fall/When chaos reigns/You’ll find me still standing tall/I vow to stand triumphant/Let courage bind my bones/In this should I fail/my soul will turn to stone/And so I descend deep into the unknown/Twisting through the darkness/With this ancient formless foe.”  The song returns to its chorus again from here, reiterating that strength against that evil, that negative force.  It is yet another example of the positive messages presented throughout the album.  The album’s penultimate entry, ‘Juggernaut Cerebrivore’ is yet another positive message that is also a commentary.

The commentary and message presented in ‘Juggernaut Cerebrivore’ comes across as being that of promoting individuality and not letting businesses control us.  This is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “Spellbound human mind/New currency of greed/Boiled brains will oil the iron jaws of industry/High up on its throne/Spreading mighty wings/Juggernaut Cerebrivore deceives/All the world enslaved by this illusion/Bowing down, still, at the master’s feet/Another trophy for the empire of lies/Submission of your soul to their machine/From awakening to the end of our days/We are the offering. Buying their way/Bled on the altar of ill-gotten gain/The one million serve while the one gilds his grave.”  This is a powerful, unique way to address the matter of the power that industry and capitalism has on the world.  From the amount of focus we put on working and making money for others, to spending so those in higher positions can live comfortable lives (and deaths) this seeming theme is delivered in quite the engaging fashion here.  The message continues as the band promotes the noted individuality in the song’s second verse, which states, “Autonomy of thought/Circling the drain/Infiltrator binding to your brain/Surrendered to the screen/Reprogrammed through the eyes/Juggernaut Cerebrivore divides.”  In this case, the song is noting television and the internet is that juggernaut, and the role it has in dividing us, preventing us from thinking for ourselves.  So between those forces and the impact of industry, the song is addressing the forces that control us and eliminate our individuality, turning us into a singularity of sorts.  It is yet another powerful theme that while familiar in its own right, is certain to resonate with audiences because of the unique way in which it is presented.  When it is considered along with the themes noted in the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes clear the power of the album’s lyrical themes.

When the overall lyrical content featured throughout Trial By Chaos is considered alongside the album’s overall musical content, that whole does more than enough to keep audiences engaged and entertained.  The sequencing of said content puts the finishing touch to the presentation.  As noted, the energy in this record is constant from the album’s outset to its end.  Even in a moment such as the opening bars of ‘Juggernaut Cerebrivore’ the subtlety used in the song’s opening bars is only temporary and does so well to lead into the powerhouse presentation that follows.  The constant energy in the songs that pairs with the constantly changing sounds in the arrangements joins with the constantly engaging lyrical themes to make the whole fully engaging and entertaining for the band’s audiences and metal fans alike.  The overall presentation makes Trial By Chaos an easy candidate for one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums and even new independent albums.

Trial By Chaos, the forthcoming sophomore album from Raider, is a powerful new offering from the independent metal outfit.  It is a record that is certain to appeal to a wide range of audiences.  That is due in part to its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are each full throttle compositions that expertly blend elements of thrash and death metal for a whole that impresses from beginning to end.  That is because even as the style remains the same from song to song, the styles change just enough to keep things interesting in each song.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements are all familiar topics but are presented in such fashion that they are original, and in turn just as engaging and entertaining as the album’s musical arrangements.  The sequencing of said content brings everything together, completing the album’s presentation.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered they make the album a sleeper hit among this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums, and independent albums.

Trial By Chaos is scheduled for release independently by the band Friday.  Pre-orders are open now here. The album’s track listing is noted below.

Trial By Chaos Track Listing: 

  1. Trial by Chaos
  2. Rite of Conquest
  3. New Dominion
  4. Fearless
  5. Labyrinth
  6. Ark of Empyrea
  7. Juggernaut Cerebrivore
  8. Devour the Darkness

The schedule for Raider’s upcoming tour in support of its new album is noted below:

RAIDER Trial By Chaos North American Tour:

Friday, April 14 – Toronto, ON – Bovine Sex Club
Saturday, April 15 – Windsor, ON – Chelsea Underground
Sunday, April 16 – London, ON – Rum Runner’s
Monday, April 17 – Jeffersonville, IN – Losers 812
Wednesday, April 19 – San Antonio, TX – HiTones
Thursday, April 20 – Houston, TX – Acadia
Friday, April 21 – Euless/Dallas, TX – Big Rob’s
Saturday, April 22 – Albuquerque, NM – Ren’s Den
Sunday, April 23 – Tempe, AZ – The Beast
Monday, April 24 – Tucson, AZ – The Edge
Wednesday, April 26 – Los Angeles, CA – The Redwood
Thursday, April 27 – Fresno, CA – The Great Room
Saturday, April 29 – San Francisco, CA – Thee Parkside
Sunday, April 30 – Portland, OR – High Watermark
Monday, May 1 – Vancouver, BC – Bully’s
Tuesday, May 2 – Seattle, WA – Funhouse
Wednesday, May 3 – Boise, ID – The Shredder
Thursday, May 4 – Salt Lake City, UT – Aces High Saloon
Friday, May 5 – Colorado Springs, CO – Vultures
Sunday, May 7 – Des Moines, IA – Lefty’s
Tuesday, May 9 – Menomonie, WI – Zymurgy Brewing
Wednesday, May 10 – Two Rivers, WI – Whisky D’s
Thursday, May 11 – Hamilton, ON – Doors Pub
Saturday, May 13 – Kitchener, ON – Maxwell’s
Sunday, May 14 – St. Catherine’s, ON – The Warehouse

More information on Raider’s new album and is available along with all of the band’s latest news at: