Truent – Through The Vale of Earthly Torment

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Truent - Through The Vale of Earthly Torment
Truent – Through The Vale of Earthly Torment

Reviewed: June 2022
Released: 2022, Self-Released
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Simon Wiedemann

Truent are a progressive death metal band from Vancouver, Canada, who will be self-releasing their first full-length album, ‘Through The Vale of Earthly Torment’, on June 17, 2022. They merge massive riffs with awe-inspiring technicality, and great songwriting. They are for fans of Revocation, Fit For An Autopsy, Archspire, and early Gojira, and they are on the rise, having performed multiple tours of their region. The band have also found their way onto AltPress’ list of “50 rising Canadian bands to keep on your radar.” The group comment on their upcoming album, below…

“Written and recorded while the world was being ravaged by the pandemic, Through the Vale of Earthly Torment was an exercise in escapism for us from the grim realities of life in turbulent times. While not a concept album in the traditional sense, we turned to themes of mythology and lore, exploring how people from all corners of the globe across all time periods have used myths to create vivid descriptions of their values. Each song centres itself around a creature or deity, and each of these entities are made to represent one of the seven deadly vices, giving the album a consistent through-line to follow.

Musically, we expanded our sound with influences from all across the heavy music spectrum in order to create the most dynamic record we could. The songs weave together pummeling and technical riffs, triumphant choruses, and a number of oddball moments that hit seemingly from nowhere. There’s a wide mix of subgenres and sounds we explore throughout the album, often within the same song. We incorporate elements of everything from tech death to thrash metal to metallic hardcore into the record’s core sound of groove-filled progressive death metal. We do not want to be an easy band to categorize, and we feel this record is our most diverse work to date.”

First up, this music is indeed very impressive. It’s certainly extremely tight, but as the drumming is clearly edited on computer, it would be. For better or worse, these are just the times we are living in. I’d be very impressed with modern technology (and simultaneously annoyed at how pointless it makes my own practice sessions) if it can alter poor guitar solos and make them sound killer, but as I’m fairly sure it can’t do that, at least yet, I can safely say the guitarist is highly skilled. I’d be very surprised if the music was sped up too, so again, well done band. Despite what the group say, the overall sound isn’t particularly new, it’s very much in the style as other tech death metal bands such as Gorod, and the leads bring to mind Daath and Necrophagist for example. However, the clean electric and acoustic guitars that occasionally pop up are a little more daring. Some are even jazzy. Jazz death metal?? Actually it works. 

The slide guitar solo in Silk and Bone is also innovative. It doesn’t sound like Hawaiian death metal or anything, rather it sounds completely natural which is good. Thank God for that. Usurper Of The Sky is annoyingly the only track with clean singing in it and the concept doesn’t last for long. Truent have missed another opportunity to expand on their uniqueness and stand out. As such singing is so uncommon, it’s appearance sounds a little random, which is a shame as almost everything else is very well-judged. The song structures flow nicely, the sound is heavy and exciting, and the production is thick and crisp, if unrealistic. 

In conclusion, a small part of me wanted the band to constantly play in Hawaiian jazz death metal (THAT’S a genre you don’t hear every day), but I guess that would be a massive risk for the band. But who knows for sure? They’re not doing that much new maybe 90% percent of the time, but to be fair, they do what they do exceptionally well. I wonder how far up in the list of most exciting Canadian bands they are. I guess if they were really high up they’d mention it, but maybe they’re being modest. If so, good for them. A world where even apparently scary death metallers are humble sounds absolutely beautiful. The album is recommended, but there are similar bands out there. 


Videos:


Track listing:

1. Blood and Dust
2. Usurper Of The Sky
3. Silk and Bone
4. The Last Hunt
5. This Verdant Coil
6. In The Mire
7. Scathe Of Branches
8. Damned To The Deep

Lineup:

Spence McIntosh – Bass
Matthew Pancoust – Lead/rhythm guitar
Daniel Clark – Rhythm guitar
Nic Landry – Drums/percussion
John Roodenrys – Vocals/acoustic guitar/additional rhythm guitar

Websites:

Bandcamp
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