Review Summary: The end of one world will give birth to a new one
The end of mankind is one of the most feared and debated topics in the world, but does anyone really
know what actions they would take if faced with the apocalypse? Whether you’ve convinced yourself you’d protect your family at all costs or you’d just fend for yourself, it’s hard to accurately predict one’s actions facing such tragic and unrelenting circumstances. On Trvth’s latest venture, Michael Smith touches on these harsh subjects as he paints a vivid picture of a world on the brink of destruction. It’s only the beginning of a much larger story which will be expanded on in future albums, but Approaching
makes for one hell of a start.
Even without its concept of impending doom, Approaching
is already a unique and satisfying album in its own right. Following a similar path as last year’s Black Horse Plague
, Smith has resurrected his stronger emphasis on black metal, yet at the same time the songs are often hard to stamp a label on. As usual, his ambition for all things music finds him mixing genres like classical, progressive, and of course, metal. However, this time around there’s a level of creativity and confidence that suggests a newfound maturity in his work. A perfect example of this would be in the groovy ‘Canvass’ which starts out with Smith’s raspy vocals but unexpectedly transforms into a classical/progressive tune with an undeniably funky rhythm and ridiculous guitar solos. Many other tracks follow suit, and often contain similar transitions that seem to flow together with more ease than on previous Trvth albums.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Approaching
is Smith’s ability to cover such a vast span of territory without ever losing a sense of focus. Each track has its own unique identity which allows it to stand out from the bunch, yet all of the songs feel connected. Songs like ‘Chemical Resurrection’ waste no time hiding Smith’s intentions as heavy riffs come storming out of the gates followed by a set of pipes hoarse enough to please any black metal enthusiast. Yet, even the tracks that take more time to reveal themselves to the listener such as the poignant ‘Effervescent’ maintain this feeling of connection with the listener.
Like past albums, Smith’s cleans may be an acquired taste for some, but they add a level of raw emotion and intensity to songs like the opening track that simply wouldn’t be as effective had he used his harsher screams. They also have a huge role in telling the album’s story, as Smith slowly pieces together hints of an inescapable climax that could threaten the population of an entire planet. Although these lyrics are interesting to say the least, the way the music itself is able to match the tone of the story is nothing short of remarkable.
Whether it be the enticing opening and closing tracks which help tie the album’s concept together, or the handful of inventive tracks in between, Approaching
proves to be one of the most solid efforts thus far by Trvth. Due to the album’s shorter length as well as Smith’s constant improvement as a musician, it’s not very difficult to digest. However, thanks to the eerie concept and the delicate attention to detail, there is more than enough substance here to warrant repeated listens despite the album’s shorter duration. Chances are Smith will only continue to improve as he experiments with new ideas, but for now it’s safe to say he is approaching an all-time high with his musical outlet, Trvth. It’s a successful follow-up to Black Horse Plague in terms of style, but it also marks the start of a tale that’s as intriguing as it is ominous.