Trouble
Psalm 9


4.0
excellent

Review

by Epilogue USER (33 Reviews)
July 2nd, 2008 | 88 replies


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist


Sometime in the year of 1979, five men in the Chicago, Illinois area decided to form a band, drawing influences from Black Sabbath, classic rock and, later on, psychedelic music. These men were Eric Wagner (vocals), Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell (guitars), Sean McAllister (bass), and Jeff Olson (drums). With these creative people at work, they reinvented the sound created by their heroes of Black Sabbath for a new decade, and thus these legendary forerunners of Doom, Trouble, released this (at first eponymous, later changed to Psalm 9) debut in 1984, with a large cult following thereafter. And it’s not hard to see why. With tempo changes executed flawlessly within songs, a dark, sludgy tone, magnificent songwriting, and other superior aspects, Psalm 9 remains a pinnacle release and continues to influence today.

And a lot of that comes from the guitar front. Riff driven, the album is, and many great ones are heard here. From harmonization of huge, chunky riffs, to trampling semi thrash palm-muted riffage, Psalm 9 covers ground on an ample level. What makes the riffs that much more murky, heavy, and strong is the tone; very low ended and thick yet with an abrasive touch for aggressive listening, along with downed-tuning, some bear the reminisce of Candlemass. Still, snarling low register chords sound well produced and distinctive among all the instruments, while retaining the immensely evil sound that is the ‘theme’ for the album.

Solos are also prominent, and should be; they’re actually structured and melodic, apart from the blistering fast shred of Thrash Metal acts of the time. Tapping is well liked by the guitars, as featured in a lot of songs. However it is not tiring, nor does it sound overdone or old. Sweeps are sometimes found too, along with aspects of soloing that fit the album accordingly, such as long vibratos, legato notes, slow tempos, etc. And aside from the crunch and the solo, we have the low end of the strings, the bass, which is a very important aspect for the atmosphere prospect of the album. While not quite doing anything technically impressive (it follows the guitar almost exclusively), it is a very important part of the album to give it even more sludgy sound. Plus, it wouldn’t sound right if a funky bass line was smack dab in the middle of any song in this record, so technicality is not an issue at all here. Sean gets the job done, and that’s all we need.

Jeff Olson has some impressive efforts here. His drumming is flawlessly tight with the other instruments of the album, working together very well. My favorite from him off this is the fifth track, Bastards Will Pay, with a standalone double kick part and perfect accents where they need to be, complimenting the guitars. Mr. Olson has some quirky fills and patterns, but its really structured and thought out, like the solos. Nothing is wrong with his sound either. His cymbals, hi hat, etc. sound crisp, a somewhat appreciated break from all the opaque sound of the rest of the album. The rest of his kit, however, sounds exactly as they should; in line with the rest of the album. Dense.

And now for, probably the most distinctive part of the album, the vocals. Mr. Wagner is a unique, yet on the fence, vocalist. I personally neither love him nor hate him, I think he is just good, and that flies with me. Eric is somewhat the sonic counterpart of the album. He has a high voice, at least singing voice, that he uses kind of sloppily. Sometimes he can be heard on the verge of operatic (though nowhere near the likes of Doomsword or Candlemass), but mostly he likes his shout. Not a scream, not a yelp, or a growl; a shout. I really can’t explain it better than that, except that his voice has a lot of reverb, which is a plus to the album because it adds to the gloomy aspect of Trouble’s first album.

So here we have it, Psalm 9. A grand showcase pointing out all that this band is known for; groovy, heavy riffing, deep sound, slow tempos, pulsing drums… Trouble’s debut will hopefully be remembered not only for being a great album, but for impacting Doom as we know it. For reinventing the blueprints made by Black Sabbath. And for bringing together Cathedral .

Reccomended Tracks
The Tempter
Bastards Will Pay
Psalm 9




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user ratings (177)
Chart.
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Epilogue
July 2nd 2008


1711 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Some things:

The last line is not necessarily a thought shared by all, I just like that band. I know I use ‘however’ too much in my reviews, I need to stop somehow. And Doomsword is a very epic doom band from Italy. Kinda cheesy, but its good.

Willie
Moderator
July 2nd 2008


17623 Comments


These guys had/have a huge cult following, but I could never get into their brand of stoner rock.

Epilogue
July 2nd 2008


1711 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0



Ah well. To each his own. Thanks for the pos too :thumb:

aww sh*t, i forgot reccomended tracks. ill do it nowThis Message Edited On 07.02.08

Angmar
July 2nd 2008


2688 Comments


Album fucking rules, although I think the three best songs are The Tempter, Assassin and The Fall of Lucifer you did a great job with this review.

I

fireaboveicebelow
July 2nd 2008


6832 Comments


good review, too bad I've never enjoyed stoner doom except for some Cathedral

Angmar
July 2nd 2008


2688 Comments


You guys this album isn't stoner, it's very straightforward highly headbanging riff based doom metal.

fireaboveicebelow
July 2nd 2008


6832 Comments


is it anything like their second album? cuz I didn't like that

Angmar
July 2nd 2008


2688 Comments


It's much better than their 2nd album, if you like just straight up metal at all really you should have this. This Message Edited On 07.02.08

fireaboveicebelow
July 2nd 2008


6832 Comments


well I suppose I stand corrected

Epilogue
July 3rd 2008


1711 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Man I love the riff in the opener! Yessssssss.

Thanks for the feedback guys, much appreciated :thumb:

Willie
Moderator
July 3rd 2008


17623 Comments


You guys this album isn't stoner, it's very straightforward highly headbanging riff based doom metal.
I admit I hadn't heard this particular album, but I had heard almost all of their other ones (possibly all of them) and they were definitely of the stoner variety. I give this a shot then.

moltenlava
July 3rd 2008


312 Comments


I had no idea that these guys date all the way back to '79. That can't be right, can it? Maybe they started dooming away back in their Jr. High/Middle School days. Was this their first release? I don't know too much about these guys, other than they write unbelievably great Hard Rock. And, that it's a cryin'shame that they never broke out big and conquered. I got into them only recently. I heard the reunion album 'Simple Mind Condition' and was impressed. But thought they were some new band. So, I did a little reading up on them and found out that they struggled for a while until they caught the attention of a major label, and the production skills of Rick Rubin. I've heard the result of that union and can't believe that the 1990 album didn't do something big. This reminds of the review I just wrote for Witchcraft. Both of these bands write such accessible Hard Rock, without being corny or Poppish in the least. And, both should be huge bands right now. Never heard this particular recording though. How does it measure against 'Simple Mind' and 'Manic Frustration'?



Epilogue
July 3rd 2008


1711 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I had no idea that these guys date all the way back to '79.


Mmhm.

Was this their first release?


Yes, you should read my review for this information....

I don't know too much about these guys, other than they write unbelievably great Hard Rock.


Its just straight Heavy Metal, in its simplest form.

How does it measure against 'Simple Mind' and 'Manic Frustration'?


I've only heard this, but from other reviews and comments on other sites, this seems like their best one. I wouldnt be suprised, this is stupendeous.

This Message Edited On 07.03.08

Epilogue
July 3rd 2008


1711 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also was suprised that this is the only Trouble review...

moltenlava
July 3rd 2008


312 Comments


You should hear the new one. It's a huge departure from this early sound, but altogether more satisfying. Put it this way, I could picture almost every single song on the new album getting airplay during the mid-90's. The album is called 'Simple Mind Condition' and it's a mainstreaming of the Trouble sound, but done in the most tasteful of ways. Get that one and the new Witchcraft. I just wrote a review for the Witchcraft and mentioned the Trouble album as a similiar item.



moltenlava
July 4th 2008


312 Comments


I went to go and write a review for the most recent 'Trouble' disc. Last year's 'Simple Mind Condition'. But, it's not listed in Sputnik's database. Awful shame too. Because the thing is pure gold. Best songwriting they've ever done. And, that says a lot because they've come up with some serious stuff. Could not have asked for a better reunion effort from these cats than 'SMC'. Who do I talk to about getting it listed?






taylormemer
July 4th 2008


4962 Comments


^^
You need to create an album page for it.This Message Edited On 07.04.08

username345
July 4th 2008


594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This has been on my 'to listen to' list for aaaaaaaaaaaaaaages...

moltenlava
July 4th 2008


312 Comments


Oh, man. I NEEED to be creatin' an album page then. Because Trouble's Simple Mind Condition is one of those records that you just want to nudge the other guy and say take a gander at this, brother. The album bears little resemblance to early Trouble. But, that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's definitely a mainstreaming of their sound. But, then again, so was Soundgarden's Superunknown and that thing is amazing. So is Witchcraft's The Alchemist. So was Metallica's Black Album. Many times a band can make themselves 100% more accessible without selling out their core sound. I have no problem with a band sounding more catchy, more immediately pleasing to the palate. It's when deliberate, corny 'Pop' influences start creeping in that I move on to something else. You with me on that?

This Message Edited On 07.04.08

Epilogue
July 4th 2008


1711 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, man. I NEEED to be creatin' an album page then.


Yes, I would like to see that review.



Has noone else heard of this band?



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