I was stumbling around the internet, and I came across a review I wrote over 6 years ago, when I was still a senior in high school. It's a little embarrassing, and looking back, I didn't really even go into the musical aspects of the album at all, but I didn't see Trial reviewed at all in here, and figured it was worth submitting. I still listen to this album to this day, by the way.
On to the old review:
"are these our lives?....are these our lives?....ARE THESE OUR LIVES?.....NOOOOOOO!!!"
This is a quote from the title track of the newest cd from Seattle's sXe hardcore band, Trial.
For those of you who don't know Trial, their sound is reminiscent of Strife and their message is wholly unique. In a genre where many bands sing about being true to yourself, preach straight edge philosophy, and basically spit on any other value system, Trial comes in with a new perspective.
First of all, they are all activists, as is my understanding, so everything they scream for is constantly being practiced by the band themselves. And they really push this way of living, as can be seen in the lyrics of the track "unrestricted": "too many years spent screaming for change, and i see now that what remains is the time i give and the chances i take in the way i live and the choices i make".
Also, they come in with an open mind, which is supposed to be the whole idea of hardcore in the first place. They don't spit out these dogmatic rules of living as a few hardcore bands have been prone to do (i.e.- Earth Crisis).
Instead, they tell you what they believe and simply question what you believe. This leads to a lot of rhetorical questions appearing in the lyrics of their songs.
A few examples:
-is it heresy to want to live today?
-are the poisons we endorse worth more than our flesh? is the only peace we'll know awaiting us in death?
-are we the dead shuffling faceless?
By asking these questions, it gets the listener to think more independently and look deeper inside themselves instead of simply absorbing certain opinions as fact and not questioning it any further.
Another way they attempt to get their message across is by including a quote before each of the songs on the lyric sheet which serves as the main idea of that song. Once the booklet is opened, you see the quote:
"If you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; If you wish to be a devotee of truth then inquire" - Friedrich Nietzsche
This sets the tone of the rest of the album and shows exactly what Trial intends on proving over the course of the next 10 or so tracks. Overall, this cd is one of the most original ones, lyrically anyway, that I have come across. I strongly recommend it to any fan of hardcore or hardcore values.