Review Summary: Trinity of Falsehood is a rare example of a modern death metal band acknowledging the limitations of their craft and – for the most part – working around them.
Modern death metal is a remarkably precarious thing, it would seem. You don’t need to look too hard before you find some stringy-haired purist in acid wash jeans proclaiming how “death metal died in 1993”, vehemently opposing any kind of evolution from the archetypal, cavernous stylings of Incantation and Autopsy. The Kennedy Veil have one main objective, to sound like an ostensibly modern death metal act without the stigmatised elements considered innate to the scene. Indeed, the band itself seems fairly resolute about the whole thing as well, proudly proclaiming their “no throwbacks, no breakdowns, no wanking, no trends” vision for all to scrutinise. While you could argue that said vision is fundamentally flawed, it’s difficult to accuse of them not fulfilling it to considerable extent.
Trinity of Falsehood
’s biggest strength, given its fairly steadfast nature, is a sense of boundaries. The guitar work is unfailingly technical without being ostentatious, even featuring a melodic edge to balance out all the shredding and intermittent bottom string chugging. Vocally, new boy Taylor Wientjes is reasonably impressive, though he doesn’t possess the most powerful voice, he compensates with contagious pronunciation and overall intensity. Even the odd double tracked lyric manages to sound as menacing as presumably intended. The song writing is reserved by modern death metal standards, but as a result also comes across as generally more coherent than that of The Kennedy Veil’s contemporaries. The short track lengths substantially narrow the margin of error in the song-writing department, with the focus squarely planted on reeling off one infectious riff after another. “Necrotic Gospel” and “In The Ashes of Humanity” prove to be highlights in an album characterised by consistency, showcasing the band at their most communicable and resilient.
With just five of the eleven tracks surpassing the 3 minute mark, forays into softer, some would say “progressive” territory are entirely absent. While this helps each song come across as focussed, the overall experience can begin to wear thin despite the album’s brevity. Being fixated on maximum attack for the entirety of its half hour runtime, the album occasionally stagnates in the second half, only to be rescued by its abundant hooks that would otherwise have been even more effective if the listener were given some breathing space. This isn’t helped by the production job, which – in accordance to The Kennedy Veil’s ambitions – is characteristically modern. While it certainly compliments the brutal instrumentation, the lack of dynamic range and triggered, blast-happy drumming saps a considerable amount of energy from would be more intense passages. The album’s straight-forwardness proves to be a double edged sword in that case, but it is at least wielded with poise for the most part, and for that reason still manages to impress despite its inherent shortcomings.
Trinity of Falsehood
is a rare example of a modern death metal band acknowledging the limitations of their craft and – for the most part – working around them. It is refreshing to see a band so intent on preserving the integrity of modern death metal without back-tracking and thus forgoing any chance of the modern incarnation of the genre retaining its decorum. Though it will not please purists in the slightest, Trinity of Falsehood
is a more than competent album in its own right, and a testament to the band’s wilful disposition.