Trvth
Proverbial


3.5
great

Review

by Jacquibim CONTRIBUTOR (45 Reviews)
December 1st, 2013 | 67 replies | 2,557 views


Release Date: 11/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Although there are still a number of issues, a new found sense of restraint results in Trvth's most coherent and collected album to date.

Reeling off an unbelievable fourth album of the year, the man behind project Trvth – Michael Smith – has proven to be as insatiable in his creation of music as the influences of said creations are diverse. The sheer rate at which he releases music is impressive in itself, but more so is candid quality of the material. Sure, Earth is Dust was perhaps a little misguided in its attempt to demonstrate the variety of Trvth’s musical output, and Lush was a failed experiment at best, but Proverbial sees Trvth find a comfort zone of sorts. Rarely straying from the confines of death metal, its arguable this is Smith’s most reserved album, especially given his greater familiarity with the genre. However, the result is one of cohesion and poise, something that has largely eluded previous Trvth works due to their ambitious nature sometimes proving to be their undoing.

Proverbial’s strength in comparison to its predecessors stems from straightforwardness. Instead of merging intentionally contrasting genres and styles together, it narrows the margin of error tenfold by operating well within the death metal spectrum. The guitar work consists mostly of a combination of steady thrash riffs and tremolo picking, alternating between each technique with relative frequency and occasionally intertwining them into something more animated. The album will occasionally branch off into softer acoustic sections, which are a little hit and miss in terms of complimenting the heavier parts, but they do justify their inclusion by breaking up the onslaught and allowing the whole thing to breathe. There are issues, with the most obvious being the production. The guitar tone is unusually distortion-heavy despite being so thin, resulting in an overall sound that isn’t particularly rich while lacking in clarity at the same time. There are moments where Smith has apparently attempted to correct this by tinkering excessively with the mix, most notably in the track “Slavish Doctrines” which is rife with clipping. The same problem resurfaces at other points on the album, but never to the same extent. The limitation of being an entirely one-man project notwithstanding, the album holds its own not only as example of Smith’s versatility, but a genuinely enjoyable album in its own right.

The second half of the album features an interesting shift in style, as the Schuldiner-esque, raspy shouts join forces with a more typical death growl. The production becomes more opaque, the overall tempo slows down and the compositions lengthen substantially. Thus the whole atmosphere swings rather abruptly into something more sinister and claustrophobic. The transition between the two halves could have been handled in a more deliberate manner, but the disparity does liven up the album as a whole. Compositionally, the second half is generally stronger, featuring songs that are less rigid in structure and focused more on build-and-release mechanisms. The greater song lengths allow the atmosphere to build continuously, and so flashes of technicality, acoustic intervals and lingering passages carry more weight and leave a greater lasting impression. “Valiant” is the highlight by a considerable margin, featuring Smith’s most vibrant vocal performance as well as fairly technical guitar leads and solos. But even in light of the song’s inherent flashiness and unpredictability, the clever use of tempo shifts and climactic execution mean it impresses more as a composition than an exercise. This attention to song-writing proves to be Proverbial’s biggest asset, while it has its shortcomings, the power of the arrangements merits enough praise to outweigh any discrepancies.

Trvth’s fourth album of the year may prove to be the best so far. The inherent flaws are obvious – sometimes glaring – but the potential for a remarkable album is more apparent now than ever before. Although nowhere near as ambitious or unconventional as Black Horse Plague, Proverbial is a more collected and mature piece of work as a while. A product of a more self-aware Trvth, it signals a brighter future for an act that at one point seemed to be leading itself astray. With yet another release on the horizon, I await with bated breath to see what direction Trvth takes in 2014 and beyond.



Recent reviews by this author
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user ratings (34)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2013



11391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My 30th review, dedicated to dearest Captain m/m/

Digging: Howls of Ebb - Vigils of the 3rd Eye

Mal
December 1st 2013



351 Comments


really enjoyed this record, nice review too

MoosechriS
December 1st 2013



4640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool review dude, album is cool

Digging: Durazis - Prayer Rehearsal

demigod!
December 1st 2013



40970 Comments


nice review Jac, though I think the 2nd paragraph could be split up into 2 smaller ones. the transition to talkin about the production is a little bit jarring. Or maybe I'm just really tired.

but yeah another good one, pos. still gotta hear this

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2013



11391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks demi, and yeah I think I might have been a bit too blunt with the points on the production.

Just looked over the review to see if I could re-arrange anything but if I did then neither paragraph would make as much sense, cheers for the advice though :D

FrozenVain
December 1st 2013



2262 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeh this is a pretty cool record actually. Has some sick riffs. Great review, Jac. Pos'd.

KILL
December 1st 2013



67082 Comments


m/

CaptainDooRight
December 1st 2013



26409 Comments


Man what a dam well-written review. You literally captured every highlight of the album. And I fully agree with your points. As a writer you just keep getting better and better and I'm respecting your opinionated credibility more and more as well. I hope you'll take advantage of the upcoming years contrib applications because Sputnik needs more people who take their writing as seriously as you.

A special thanks to everyone who has supported my music despite its ups and downs. I'm truly grateful for my music brothers.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

Relinquished
December 1st 2013



22366 Comments


aye aye captain m/

zaruyache
December 1st 2013



4811 Comments


oh captain my

Digging: Paramnesia - Paramnesia

CaptainDooRight
December 1st 2013



26409 Comments


Sup Reli, what's new?

Zaruy - randomly, regarding your dig I actually wrote a song called lake of blood

edit: oops sorry its actually called fables of blood, really old song

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VEg3Zmzsnck

Frippertronics
December 1st 2013



4382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

listening to Lush atm. needs a review badly, so I think it'll be my next review. It's far better than what the 2.9 avg suggests.

Digging: Big Nig - Marque un: le point de vue de nigs rsum

manosg
December 1st 2013



4684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's nice to see some positive energy on this website instead of silly lists and petty arguments so good job Jac and rest of dudes here. Have a pos from me too.

Album's great as well, I really enjoyed it.

Digging: Jan Akkerman - Tabernakel

CaptainDooRight
December 1st 2013



26409 Comments


I would greatly appreciate that Fripper. I put my heart and soul into it. I think many people missed the point that I intentionally made the production that way on it as putting reverbs and effects on it would have been a breeze. But since its classical in its nature and its roots I wanted the production to be dry and desolate. I wanted the music to be fully about the notes and express my appreciation for counterpart which it's obscurity was inspired by my favorite classical artist, Beethoven.

Frippertronics
December 1st 2013



4382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I can see that. The intention of the album reminds of Horizons (Steve Hackett) by borrowing and/or being heavily influenced by classical music.

CaptainDooRight
December 1st 2013



26409 Comments


@ Manosg - I agree. We still have a great collection of users which keeps the site quite enjoyable. Even on plug. Also, I'm glad you enjoyed this bro.

CaptainDooRight
December 1st 2013



26409 Comments


@ Fripper - Yes, more or less, I would agree with that. Subsequently, that is a great album you mentioned[bay of kings] I
believe
JamieTwort got me into it. Probably gonna listen to that right now.

oltnabrick
December 1st 2013



29282 Comments


I haven't listened to any of your albums other than Black Horse Plague. Don't know why, I thought that one was pretty good ;]

Digging: Future - Honest

CaptainDooRight
December 1st 2013



26409 Comments


Cool man. If you happened to check this out, or any others I hope it's to your liking. If you enjoyed BHP than this probably the best next step as its the most similar. And if you enjoy hip hop earth is dust would be a possible option too. Also, have you done anymore work other than that ambient album you released not too long ago?

oltnabrick
December 1st 2013



29282 Comments


lol that album I made was a joke


and I thought that hip hop album you made was a Lately album (but I did listen to that one) :P


I'll listen to this soon



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