Review Summary: The Great Depression is a good album, but it's lacking in important areas.The Great Depression
isn't a very inspiring name. The reference is obvious, exaggerated, and not quite as insightful as some will probably make it out to be, but hey, that's metal for you. Similarly, critics and fans alike will exaggerate when they hail the latest release from Britain's Trigger the Bloodshed as an exercise in technical and brutal death metal unparalleled in today's scene, but hey, that's the metal press for you. Though there may be some truth to the hype behind the band, as The Great Depression
has its moments, at the same time, the record is lacking in certain areas of importance, which puts a real damper on the record.
Trigger the Bloodshed's tech-y brand of death metal is hardly an original addition to a stagnating genre, but it's an entertaining one none the less. Guitarists Rob Purnell and Martyn Evans' mile a minute riffs may be standard death metal fare, but on occasion the duo exhibit flashes of brilliance here and there, most notably in "The Scourging Impurity". Fortunately, Purnell and Evans generally spare us of listless, sterile guitar solos; rather, they instead opt to express their skill through relatively technical riff patterns, a stylistic decision made especially effective in "Warbound". Brief blasts of melody in the title track and "Sanctuary of the Wicked" keep the album from sounding too mechanical; such a divergence is subtle, yet still accentuates the main riffing rather well, making for two of themore interesting moments on The Great Depression
What holds The Great Depression
back is essentially exactly what holds back every other album exactly like it. Not only does it possess filler tracks such as the minute long "I", which serves no purpose other than to eat up time on a thirty-four minute record, and "Terminus", which suffers from the same technical overindulgences of a Neuraxis or Martyr, but it also lacks a certain flair that would make Trigger the Bloodshed standout among their peers. Once you get beyond the fact that Trigger the Bloodshed's sound is as heavy and fast as any in the genre, the lack of depth begins to show. Drummer Max Blunos' overreliance on blast beats makes him a virtual non-entity on The Great Depression
. When he forgoes blast beats in the first minute of "The Infliction of Tophet", he showcases some of his potential; though it certainly isn't brilliant, it makes for a much more interesting piece.
The Great Depression
may end up being one of the better albums in its respective scene this year, but it's lacking in important areas. The album is extremely predictable from start to finish, as nearly every song attempts to capture the exact same levels of intensity. The record has little to offer from a technical standpoint, and is mostly built on the strengths of the band's guitarists who, luckily, do a decent job of engaging the listener. Still, The Great Depression
shows flashes of excellence from time to time and a little more diversity would do the band wonders. Every member of Trigger the Bloodshed is skilled at what they do, that much is certain. This talent just needs to be better reflected in the group's song writing.