Review Summary: Yet another eccentric, eyebrow raising effort from an act that leaves no stone unturned.
If there’s one thing the man behind Trvth could never be accused of, it’s treading familiar waters. Over Smith’s pursuit of all things eclectic, it comes as no surprise that his little project has had its share of ups and downs, the occasional blunder merely the result of persistent experimentation. However, as the blank edges of the map continued to be filled, Trvth’s misendeavors are becoming a bit of a scarcity. Aided by an inhuman rate of work, Smith is becoming increasingly proficient in all areas, which coupled by an insatiable yearning for a challenge is only paying dividends for his musical output. Purging
could potentially be Trvth’s seminal album, an organic, instrumentally candid blend of everything from psychedelia, to tribal, to downtempo, its beauty being not only in its lush, reverberant soundscapes, but also its ambiguity.
Trvth is no stranger to unorthodox musical mixtures, and Purging
is no exception, being perhaps the most stylistically diverse album we’ve heard from the project yet. What’s remarkable is just how effortlessly well balanced all the elements are, making it rather tricky to pinpoint specific influences and forming a well-rounded and cohesive piece of work. The album’s compositional straightforwardness proves to be an invaluable asset, forming a crux around which the aesthetic nuances and tweaks flow freely amongst one and other. The handful of motifs that comprise each track are more-or-less extended across entire arrangements, being acutely tweaked and modified along the way. Each track begins and subsequently ends with an infectious, unbroken beat while layers of instrumentation and vocal work are incrementally laid out and stripped back. As a result of the music’s generally cocooned nature, the atmospheres are able to build and develop at their own leisure, one track to the next.
’s interrupted, A to B approach does narrow the margin for error considerably, but ultimately still leaves a little to be desired. There are many instances in this album in which a climax could have been viable without disturbing the flow of the music, but these opportunities are unfortunately never capitalised on. Perhaps it was a conscious effort on Smith’s part to focus on the ethereal as opposed to the eventful, which becomes increasingly more evident towards the latter portion of the album. However, this shift in style only sheds further light on the album’s biggest issue, the production. High-compression and clipping are abundant throughout the album, but like water off a duck’s back, it isn’t that much
of an issue until the more ambient oriented tracks such as “Goodbye”, “Ancient Temple” and most notably, “Lifeforce”. Nevertheless, these tracks still manage to overcome the sound engineering gaffes due to the aforementioned compositional strengths, but the listener is still left wondering what might have been.
Irrespective of its faults, Purging
is still an impressive album, not only as a self-produced, one-man effort, but in its own right as well. The album successfully combines the eclectic nature of Trvth’s earlier material with the cohesion and poise of more recent work. However, after what is now seven albums, there are still a handful of issues that remain uncorrected, inhibiting Purging
from realising its full potential. While it remains to be seen if Trvth will address these concerns in future releases, Purging
is yet another step forward for what is now becoming a formidable act.