Monday 12 May 2014

Trudger - Dormiveglia (Album Review)

Original artwork TBA

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 7/2014
Label : Church of Fuck/Sell Your Soul

Dormiveglia, tracklisting :
1. Into The Abysmal Future [07:23]
2. Become Joyless [06:31]
3. Tilikum [01:04]
4. Thickening Fog [06:12]
5. Barren Grey [06:47]
6. Devoid [01:41]
7. State Of Constant Slumber [07:15]
8. Morgued [07:51]

The Band :
Richard Matheson | Guitar
Jack Kavanagh | Guitar
Michael Parkinson | Bass
Chris Leak | Drums
Chris Parkinson | Vocals

Review :

Trudger is a young band that is on a path to greatness, but they aren’t there yet. Very clearly inspired by sludge and “sludge-like” bands at the highest level, they still seem ready to carve out a more admirable niche for themselves, rather than being a high quality sound-a-like of their influences. Their album announcement mentions bands like Neurosis, Mastodon, Old Man Gloom and more, and I certainly hear all of those bands woven throughout the album. But, as I said, I think the real promise in Trudger is when they leave those influences behind and navigate their own course. At various points of ‘Dormiveglia’ you could specifically point out “here’s a Mastodon part” or “here’s a Neurosis part”. While those moments are certainly performed well, the similarities often invite comparisons that are insanely tough to live up to.

Let me be more specific: The opening of “Become Joyless”, the second track on ‘Dormiveglia’, is reminiscent of the opening of Mastodon’s "Megalodon", only once the initial build-up concludes; it simply kicks into a heavier variation of the build-up at its climax. The ultra-barbaric, everything-all-at-once drumming choice, not unlike what you’d hear on Goatsblood’s ‘Drull’ album, doesn’t quite compliment the guitars as nicely, and feels a bit too flat for the atmosphere the guitars are creating otherwise. It also continues in the same basic rhythm with only slight variation for the first third of a six and a half minute song. Things do pick up once they finally relinquish their death grip on that idea. The riff is more lively, with wonderfully placed palm muting and the drums explore more creative arrangements. Sadly, that time is brief, and they return to their earlier theme.

That’s one of a few places throughout the album where Trudger shows that they’re a hot prospect rather than a starting player. With a bit of self-editing, everything changes for the better! Now, you might be saying “I thought you said these guys are destined for greatness, but you just shat in their mouths for two straight paragraphs!” Fair enough. Let’s look at why they have such a great future ahead of them.

As players, they’re top-notch. With a few quirks that don’t gel well with my personal taste aside, they have great instinct as song writers. They vary things dynamically without relying on an obvious soft verse to loud chorus and repeat formula. They layer their guitar parts excellently and know how to create a riveting build up to a big moment, which is essential for a band pursuing the style they’re choosing. I’m also a big fan Chris Parkinson’s vocal style, as it adds a slight death metal influence to the vocal style of Tragedy and Fall of Efrafa.
Another big reason I can see Trudger being a big deal down the road is the album’s standout track: “Morgued”. The gargantuan second half of this song is the kind of stuff that’s going to put them over the top. The unconscionable heaviness of the song's crescendo would cripple Atlas and Hercules both, as its weight defies mythological strength. It’s fucking heavy. In fact, it’s bafflingly massive when compared to the rest of the album.

Getting away from a moment I could go on about for ages; there are bright spots like “Morgued” all over ‘Dormiveglia’, in smaller doses. Their skill with a dramatic build is tremendous, as on the opening minute of “Thickening Fog”. The key for Trudger is going to be to learn to raise our collective blood pressure like the opening of “Thickening Fog”, and then have it end in a massive fucking coronary episode, like the end of “Morgued”. It’s all there; it’s just a matter of recognizing where their bread is buttered

Words by : Daniel Jackson

This record will be available from July

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