Released: 2015, Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
It's not that often that a black metal band from across the pond comes along, making I AM THE TRIREME quite a rarity. They haven't always been and aren't purely a black metal band, though and seeing some old pictures of them they certainly don't look like a typical of the genre. The “I am” prefix of the band's name points clearly to their metalcore origins. Their latest offering, “Gnosis: Never Follow The Light” is intended to be a powerful journey through the stages of Enlightenment and Ascension.
At the opening of the album their past and melodeath influences dominate the music, but it isn't long before the music takes a blackened turn. Melodically the music is very strong, with lots of great composition. At times traditional black metal shredding is layered over classic melodeath guitar work to create an effective, multi-textured sound. There's also use of keyboards and string instruments throughout, adding an atmospheric and dramatic quality to the music.
A lot of the time when a band is labelled as a fusion of two genres, the music becomes an obscure mix of those genres and can't be strongly identified as either. On “Gnosis: Never Follow The Light” the different elements that define black and melodic death metal are present in their full glory, and instead of diluting each other out they're used alongside each other to create something with another dimension, something that's much more interesting.
Vocally, I think it falls somewhere between the usual black metal style and a more full bodied death metal style of growling, giving the impression that the vocalist hasn't always sounded this way. There are also some obscure but clean vocals here and there which are unusual but characterful, adding to the atmosphere of the music.
A problem I have with a lot of black metal is that it's unnecessary drawn out and repetitive for the sake of it. What's good about this album is that every track flows well and does a good job of keeping the listener interested. This is done with a variety of different textures, tempos, atmospheres and the overall mood of each section. The drums add to this, with lots of fills and varying rhythms. At times the music is more brutal and full on, and at others it takes a more introspective and minimalistic tone leaning towards the post-black styles that have become more popular these days.
I think a step in the black direction was a good choice for the band, it's not often you see anyone on the other side of the Atlantic stepping into that territory. They have combined their past with elements of a different genre to create some original and well composed black/melodic death metal.
By Jacob Ovington