Travel Now Journey Infinitely
posted on 10/2008 By:
From Wikipedia, "Trinacria is both an alternative name for Sicily and its national symbol (an ancient form of the Triskelion), which also appears on its flag." In case you don’t have a Word-A-Day calendar, a triskelion is "a symbol consisting of three interlocked spirals, or three bent human legs, or any similar symbol with three protrusions and a threefold rotational symmetry." (Notable examples of triskelions include the Klingon symbol and the crest of United States Department Of Transportation. Don't say I never taught you anything, kids.) If you ask me, Trinacria is kind of an odd choice of names for a Norwegian experimental noise/black metal band comprised of members of Enslaved and Fe-mail, but to quote guitarist Ivor Bjornson by way of explanation, "It is a part of the occult symbolic tradition, which fits perfectly with Trinacria's scope, if there is any." Yes, it's always a good idea to admit in interviews that even you yourself are unsure if your band has scope…
Even with Ivor’s modesty, it’s safe to say that Trinacria has scope, both breadth and depth. They’re stepping outside the lines of traditional black metal, combining the two bands' generally disparate aesthetics. Travel Now is an interesting listen—about half of it is accessible, somewhat-familiar territory for Enslaved fans, that band’s progressive blackness forming the musical foundation upon which Trinacria’s noise component skreeks and scraps away. For the most part, Travel Now is Blut Aus Nord-styled black metal with weirdness, alternating between fast-paced, heavily noised-out blackness and a spacey hypnotic (read: repetitive) midtempo, with simple riffs and noisy squeals sitting side by side, boring a hole into the listener’s brain whilst simultaneously numbing his/her senses.
The album is divided into six parts, with "Part III: Make No Mistake" my personal favorite and the best coalescing of the band’s ideal. That particular track is heavier on the black metal elements, with Grujtle's vocals and squealing synths atop dissonant riffing. Much of Travel Now relies upon a black-metal-cum-krautrock mid-tempo repetition, droning along on a single icy riff whilst the ladies of Fe-mail make their synths and samples go "whoosh" and "skronk" and "shhhh" across it all. Although I was initially a bit underwhelmed with the less metallic tracks, upon closer and deeper listens, I found the whole disc to be an interesting record, simultaneously as simplistic as I’d initially believed and yet a hair more intricate, with some textures and subtleties that aren’t immediately gratifying but enjoyable with some extra effort.
"Part VI: Travel Now Journey Infinitely" is closest to Enslaved’s work, although in truth and in overall quality, nothing here really compares to that band's progressive genius. Alongside Enslaved's mastery, Trinacria simply doesn’t feel as developed, as magical. As good as it is, it never quite transcends its second-band status. It’s challenging to appreciate, and it's challenging in a good way, but at the end of the day, it still smells like a side project. Regardless, not to hold one band against another, what’s here is good noisy, experimental black metal, even if it’s still not an "oh, hell yes, you absolutely must have this" type of record. Enslaved fans will enjoy it, and those interested in the more experimental fringes of black metal should certainly give it a listen, but they as well as anyone else would be forgiven for not spinning it regularly, especially as Vertebrae will undoubtedly destroy it.
Also, "Triskelion" would’ve been a cooler name.
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