Death With A Dagger
While Speedtrap are already known to High Roller collectors from their fantastic 2009 “Raw Deal” mini-album, Death With A Dagger (also hailing from Finland) are releasing their first product on the label. Which does not mean, however, that it’s their first-ever record. Far from it, as bass player Chris explains to me: “In addition to two split 7" EP's (with Kylmä Sota and Work Shy), we have also already released a full-length LP entitled ’Dark Alleys’ and a 7" single called ’Nocturnal’. As a matter of fact, we have our second full-length album already recorded.” The history of Death With A Dagger goes back to the year 2005. ”We started out as a four-piece, with Prowler joining in 2007”, describes Chris. The sound at the beginning was more Hardcore Punk and has gradually grown to include influences from the N.W.O.B.H.M. and traditional Metal, as well as Hardrock and psychedelic bands.” So it is no big wonder that the bass player of Death With A Dagger describes the three numbers of his band making up the High Roller split release with Speedtrap as following: ”’Night of the Dagger’ is fast Thrash with some nice guitar harmonies, ’White Lady’ is riff-based Hardrock and ’Burning Core’ takes influences from Black Sabbath, Pentagram and Hawkwind etc.” That is quite a variety indeed. As mentioned above, Chris also finds ”certainly a lot of Punk influences” in the sound of his band. Death With A Dagger got their deal with High Roller Records through Speedtrap: ”We are friends with Speedtrap and have played together several times, and in fact we have a gig together in a few weeks.”
The split album with Death With A Dagger is Speedtrap’s second release for High Roller Records following 2009’s glorious mini-album “Raw Deal” (Speedtrap are friends with Death With A Dagger and have shared a stage with them a couple of times). The six songs on “Raw Deal” turned a few heads. The vinyl is now completely sold out. Does that come as a surprise to singer Jori Sara-Aho? That is definitely the case: “Yes, it’s a surprise! It's not often that you come up with a cheapo demo tape that gets two CD pressings and a 12" vinyl pressing.” That’s true indeed. The reactions to “Raw Deal” were quite enthusiastic as Jori remarks: “It was above all expectations. We thought it would only appeal to some hardcore Speed Metal freaks, but punks and people who don't usually listen to Metal have also picked it up.” The band also got some good reviews in well-known magazines: “Yeah, we got reviews in some bigger magazines, too. The second biggest Metal magazine chose ‘Raw Deal’ as the fourth best Finnish album this year, which was nice.”
With “Out for your Blood”, “Get it on or get away”, “Midnight (Rough Ride)” and “Time to die” Speedtrap have recorded four brand new compositions for their current split album with Death With A Dagger. Jori explains: “We didn't want to recycle any old songs and we had an ample supply of new songs.” But Speedtrap have not opted to put out another full-length album as yet. Why? Jori: “It wasn't the time for a full-length yet, so we decided to do a shorter release first. Making a full-length album takes a lot of time, money and practice and we didn't have any of those when we did the songs for the split.” The singer of Speedtrap explains the musical direction of the new songs: “There's more Punk and there's more Rock 'n’ Roll this time than on ‘Raw Deal’, but it still is real Heavy Metal. ‘Midnight (Rough Ride)’ is our first really good mid-tempo song. Right from the beginning we've been trying to make songs like that, but we had some difficulties getting them right. Now that we've got the hang of it, there will be more in the future. Not forgetting the fast songs though!” So Speedtrap have definitely progressed but Jori can’t see his band ever becoming too polished for their own good: “Well, not polished in some Bon Jovi-kind of way at least! Of course, we will always try making better music, get a good sound on the albums and become better musicians, but we're not trying to become radio-friendly or anything like that.” I think that’s exactly what their fans want to hear and you can all check for yourself on their current split album with Death With A Dagger.