TRAVELER did manage to create a small buzz with their 2018 demo – simply called “Demo 2018” – in which they presented us three finely played classic metal songs with rough sound and some potential. And since this is not a time for demos, within a year TRAVELER are back with their first full-length album “Traveler”.
So what would describe TRAVELER‘s music to the clueless listener? Well, we do have a nice mixture of U.S. Speed metal embodied with NWOBHM-style leads, licks, riffs and melodies. Which means that there is an ongoing IRON MAIDEN atmosphere throughout the album, especially in the twin leads – just listen to the opening song “Starbreaker” or “Behind the Iron” – which definitely resemble of the “Piece of Mind” era. Yet IRON MAIDEN is not TRAVELER‘s only influence. JUDAS PRIEST pop up here and there and a shit load of 80’s metal acts; from early PRETTY MAIDS, RIOT and HELLOWEEN (“Up to You”, “Speed Queen”) to cult, almost unknown bands like BLOODY SIX or AIRWOLF (“Fallen Heroes”, “Street Machine”) and some modern bands like WHITE WIZZARD, HITTEN, ENFORCER etc.
Everything is exceptionally performed, from the almost flawless guitar work, to the dramatic and expressive swarf vocals. The songwriting is quite good also, with lots of interesting ideas, influences healthy absorbed and balance between American and European sound.
Yet not everything is ideal. Though the band struggles to deliver a flawless album, they totally skip the part where they should be at least original. And before you complain, I do not feel that they should reinvent the wheel, but truth to be told, by looking at the cover art I had lots of expectations for a heavier, modernized and darker sound with lyrical references to space, aliens, black holes and shit like that. Instead the songs rarely different from a “roughneck” styled band.
TRAVELER do have control of everything, but they somehow do not manage to sound different from the numberless acts that have popped up in the last years. And (this is a totally personal opinion) I wouldn’t mind some more HROM influences in their sound, since HROM are cool as a Pina Colada in a hot summer’s day.
To sum up, in case you are looking for another 80’s revival band, this is just for you, since you will enjoy every minute of it. But do not expect something more look somewhere else.