Review Summary: Trigger The Bloodshed are moving in the right direction.
Trigger The Bloodshed’s second release ‘The Great Depression’ was a difficult album. Refreshingly clean of any hardcore traits that all too often permeate modern death metal song writing, yet too frantic and chaotic to make any sort of memorable impact, it was a breathless listen which displayed a great deal of promise but lacked any hooks needed to etch on the mind.
Now, barely a year later, ‘Degenerate’ displays a stunning progression for such a short space of time, with the band significantly sharpening up their song writing and embracing a new found sense of restraint, allowing the tracks room to breathe and really make an impression on the listener, rather than blindsiding them with a barrage of riffs played at a constant breakneck tempo. ‘Hollow Prophecy’ for example relies heavily on a monstrously grooving guitar line which lurches and staggers along with a satisfying infectiousness, whilst first single ’The Soulful Dead’ chugs modestly yet retains a murderous intent, with the band not afraid to settle into the riff and allow it to take effect. It is this streamlining that betrays a new maturity and a developing realization that brutality is not exclusively inherit in a brisk pace only.
Although, this is not too say that ‘Degenerate’ is a mid-tempo affair. There is still plenty of sonic violence on offer, with songs such as ‘Dead Vein’ and album closer ‘Until Kingdom Come’ rattling along with an impressive technical bluster. Indeed, the fact that Trigger The Bloodshed have begun to vary the velocity of their tracks means that these sections of rapid aggression have become drastically more compelling than they were on previous albums, such as two minutes into ‘A Sterile Existence’ where the band hit a grinding pace (complete with some stunningly fast vocals lines from front man Jonny Burgan) that is truly affecting.
It has always been apparent that the band are more than capable instrumentally, yet performances on this third release are a great deal more remarkable than anything formerly offered. The highlight effort comes from lead guitar player Rob Purnell, who makes a great impression with a glut of fantastic solos. The guitar leads in ‘The Great Depression’ were few and far between, and for the most part melodically and structurally redundant in their ability to enhance the song, but it is clear that an endeavour to improve this aspect has paid off, and solos in tracks such as ’De Breed’ find a pleasing middle ground between wah drenched emotional outpouring and some ferocious technical shredding.
New drummer Daniel Wilding also exerts himself, executing his work with a finesse and dexterity that benefit’s the bands new dynamism. His vicious blast beats and furious double bass in the previously mentioned ‘Until Kingdom Come’ are superb, and he displays necessary self-control in the more settled affairs as he curbs his nimble footed approach to sink into rumbling groove such as in album opener ‘A Vision Showing Nothing’. The vocals sound huge, with the dual attack of Burgan’s throaty rasp and Purnell’s monumental guttural roar making for a venomous combination, adding yet another vehement element to the sonic onslaught.
What Trigger The Bloodshed have achieved on ‘Degenerate’ is the presentation of songs that contain enough light and shade for them to have a unique and captivating quality, yet with without relenting on their established extremity. If the band continue to heed such important lessons as this, their could be something utterly remarkable in the pipeline as they progress into the death metal elite. Trigger The Bloodshed are moving in the right direction, and on this evidence have an exciting future ahead of them.