Sunday 19 July 2015

Trials - ‘This Ruined World’ (Album Review)

This is superlative modern metal which mixes elements of thrash, death, traditional metal and comes up with something technical, progressive and accessible.

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 24/07/2015
Label: Self Release

‘This Ruined World’ CD//DD track listing:

1). Truth Defiled
2). Don’t Believe The Word
3). Diggin My Own Grave
4).Disgraced and Erased
5).Blink of an Eye
6). Beat The System To Death
7). They Hide Behind The Law
8). Inheritance
9). This Ruined Earth

Trials is:

Ryan Bruchert | Guitars
Adam Kopecky | Drums
Usha Rajbhandari | Bass
Mark Sugar | Guitars & Vocals 


Trials have produced a bit of a monster with this one. It’s thrashy with death elements (blast beats, riff pacing) but lots of twisting lead parts and riffs mark this as more thrash to me than anything else. It is modern and expertly played. This band are unsigned and hail from Chicago- the first time I have heard them is on this record, but it is not their first (the internet says). It would have been unthinkable a few years ago for a band of this quality to be unsigned, but there we are. A sign of the times?

The opener “Truth Defiled” sets the bands stall out in full and offers up all the elements described in the first paragraph. The record does not really let up from there. Yes, the band vary the pace on “Don't Believe The Word” and use interesting riffs and rhythms on “Digging My Own Grave” but nothing can change the fact that this is just balls to the wall metal. It's technical in places, melodic in places and hooky too- but mostly the album just melts your face. For reference points, think Machine Head at their heaviest and fastest, God Forbid (ditto) and Testament form the late 90's onwards for melody and such. The quartet whip up a veritable storm on “Disgraced and Erased” taking the better elements of the NWOAHM movement of a decade ago and welding it to a stainless steel sensibility for all things metal (no core!).

“Blink Of An Eye” marries melody and brutality effectively in the riffs, sound like a revved up Iron Maiden in the sweep of the choruses- albeit through a modern metal filter. “Beat The System To Death” is a straight up thrasher that I like a lot as it takes no prisoners and just lays down the riffs with power and spite. “They Hide Behind The Law” is dramatic in its opening and allows the band to use dynamics in the delivery for a rather catchy and varied listen (excellent cymbal work throughout, too).

‘Inheritance’ borrows the old school thrash trick of an acoustic guitar intro which precedes heavier sounds. The tempos are never all out, all the time on this record; there is a lot of ebb and flow and that makes for a much more interesting listen. The acoustic resurfaces later in the track too, which is a nice touch. The album finishes with the close-to-epic title track. It features some truly excellent guitar interplay and once again there are excellent shifts between light and shade. Credit must also be given to the drum sound and playing of Adam Kopecky- it sounds like a real kit! The bass drums are not clicky... they are actually bassy. How unusual and, from my point of view, how welcome. A powerful way to close a powerful record.

This is superlative modern metal which mixes elements of thrash, death, traditional metal and comes up with something technical, progressive and accessible. As noted earlier, it is a tragedy that these guys aren't at international level. Hopefully this record will change that.

‘This Ruined World’ is available here

Words by: Richard Maw

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