Trigger The Bloodshed
posted on 9/2008 By:
Trigger the Bloodshed ought to be a song title, not some limpwristed excuse of a band name. I was looking to lambast this album on its merits alone, thinking it was going to be something along the lines of the pitiful Bring Me the Horizon or the monotonous Suicide Silence. I remember thinking to myself, "well, there goes Metal Blade; they've gone and signed another deathcore act." Invariably, fan fellatio would be given to such a faceless institution as the next up-and-coming death-ish band, and Purgation would be hailed by several metal magazines and journals as a showstopping, no-holds-barred breakdown-fest with sweep arpeggios placed "just so." Conversely, unequivocable molestation of the band's very image would erupt from the metal elite (and it still could, given one member has that swoop fringe haircut), and subsequent tours featuring Trigger the Bloodshed higher on the bill than a band like Decrepit Birth or Immolation would, ironically (or not), result in the triggering of bloodshed. In short, the band name speaks volumes for what to expect, and were this review based solely on that one factor, I'd say they resemble the Eagles of Death Metal more than death metal proper.
"Dead wrong," says Trigger the Bloodshed. "We're not like that at all." But that's about all I can say about Purgation: it isn't deathcore. It is an incredibly fast deathgrind experience, and it is malicious in its presentation. But maybe all of that has been eclipsed by a lackluster production that the phrase "wall of sound" could not amply describe. Purgation is an exercise to those with finely tuned auditory receptacles to try and find a riff on this album that doesn't sound like the next. And in that, Purgation is an exercise in patience. It is not unlike listening to a dismal suicidal black metal album like that of Xasthur or Leviathan in that there are many, many intricacies that I'm sure a careful listener could pick up. And then maybe you're a guy that just wants a deathgrind CD that has decipherable riffs with their own distinct identities.
The high-end is handled respectably by Charlie Holmes on vocals. It's nothing I hadn't heard already in contemporaries Jonny Davy (JFAC), Guy Kozowyk (Red Chord), or Phil Bozeman (Whitechapel), and it's the only piece of Trigger... that sounds like deathcore. It is unremarkable in its sameness to those deathcore bands, but its presentation in an otherwise deathgrind CD is welcome. Do I still like hearing a hand-cupped mic? No, unless it's Frank Mullen, but I've given up trying to defend the guys that punch out badass death grunts without using that technique.
Alternately, the low end is drum-dominated, and I don't say that lightly. The toughest part about Purgation is chewing through its high-mix drum fat. Though Trigger... takes its cues from guys like Flo Mournier or Tony Laureano, it does not give them license to put the snare at top priority, nor overwhelm the mix with the kicks, especially when the majority of the album is a barrage of blast beats. I missed those guitar parts more than anything else because they were drowning in a seemingly endless sea of extremely fast drum passages. Max Blunos is a talented drummer, but Purgation is a masturbatory effort to showcase just how fast and intricate his playing style is. It is immeasureably irritating to hear a band whose one outstanding feature becomes the very ire of the music you're trying to enjoy. By the time "Laceration" has finished playing, I'm almost certain I've heard everything Trigger the Bloodshed has to throw at me. Blunos' bag of tricks has emptied by the end of the album's single, and that's an unremarkable three songs in.
Purgation means well, but the effort is ultimately hampered by a production that panders to one aspect of the music and gives the rest of the musicians the proverbial shaft.
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