Released: 2009, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Many readers might be thinking, “Didn’t we just see a review of a new Trigger The Bloodshed CD here just a few months ago?” and they would be right. Metal Blade Records snatched up the distribution rights for the U.K. band’s debut, PURGATION, last fall but it was actually released on a small indie label in 2007, so there was a longer stretch between that record and the band’s new slab of death metal fury, THE GREAT DEPRESSION, than initially thought. In the interim, though, a lineup shuffle which included a new vocalist and bass player entering the fold, gave Trigger The Bloodshed a leaner, meaner sound on THE GREAT DEPRESSION. Dropping the slew of interludes that strung PURGATION out to seventeen tracks has also benefitted the new record, as it is 34 minutes of unrelenting battery to the senses. Like Krisiun, Origin and Hate Eternal rolled into one, THE GREAT DEPRESSION forgoes melody for jacked-up speed, scathing vocals and a ferocious drum attack that never touches on the ubiquitous deathcore trend worming its way through metal. This is death metal done right, folks.
PURGATION was (and still is) a great record but the inclusion of so many blink-and-you-miss-`em interludes tended to break up the momentum the band generated. With the exception of one pointless, noise-filled instrumental, THE GREAT DEPRESSION motors along quite nicely as half the tracks come in under three minutes. There are some nifty tempo changes here (“Warbound”) and full-blown lunges for the jugular there (“Disfigured Anonymity”) that break up the monotony of Trigger The Bloodshed’s aural assault, but 37 minutes is still about enough of this style of music to take in one helping. Having replaced Charlie Holmes on vocals, Jonny Burgan brings a more traditional style of death metal roars to the band than was evidenced on PURGATION. His sub-guttural bark on tracks like “The Dead World” and “The Infliction of Tophet” are more in tune with Alex Camargo and Erik Rutan which lends THE GREAT DEPRESSION a nod to the accepted style of death metal than some of the trendier vocalists out there. Some neat guitar tricks from Rob Purnell and Martyn Evans on “The Scouring Impurity” and “Desiccate Earth” separate those tracks from the bunch but there is still a lot of overlap here that causes many songs to bleed into one another. Add the less-than-stellar mix that pushes Max Blunos’ drums way too far forward, often drowning out the vocals and the guitars or at least turning them into a sludgy mess, and this becomes the Achilles heel of THE GREAT DEPRESSION. It may be unfair to fault the band for a piss-poor mix job but it certainly takes away from the enjoyment of an otherwise solid record.
What with the generally positive press that PURGATION earned, it’s pretty smart that Trigger The Bloodshed strikes while the iron is still hot.by releasing THE GREAT DEPRESSION just eight months later. In that brief time, it is evident how much better the band has become as songwriters as well as solidified the fact they aren’t bowing to the deathcore movement. Questionable post-production aside, fans of “real” death metal need look no further than THE GREAT DEPRESSION for a modern take on the genre by a young and promising band.
KILLER KUTS: “The Great Depression,” “The Scouring Impurity,” “Desiccate Earth,” “The Infliction of Tophet,” “Disfigured Anonymity”