These Trouble re-masters have been a long time coming,very much deserving of the remastered treatment (sorry,but the original Metal Blades sound like mud…) – for those that don’t know,Trouble are/where some of the “founding fathers” so-to-speak of the post-Sabbath doom metal scene:when most everyone else was thrashing and playing at lightening speeds,Trouble cranked out down-tuned,heavy,catchy slow to mid tempo metal.Eric Wagner’s vocals are a highlight,as he stays away from the Ozzy-worship and has his own distinct style.Anyway,whether you are a seasoned fan,or brand new to Trouble these first re-masters are a real treat and well worth the reasonable list-price.
Upon its\’ initial release in \’97, The DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN\’s Under the Running Board threw down the gauntlet to the late 90\’s hardcore and metal scenes. The band blew minds with their wildly-original and innovative take on extreme music and their action-packed live shows. The band raised the bar so high that heavy music was never the same again. With it now expanded to include 9 bonus live-tracks and a previously unreleased Black Sabbath cover, both new and old fans alike can rediscover a milestone record as relevant now as it was upon its release a decade ago.
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better than the trouble debut, better than anything by candlemass. this is like classic mercyful fate without the widdly bits and the soprano vocals. instead, trouble’s singer is reminiscent of robert plant fronting dio era black sabbath. a hint of the beatles occasionally is noticeable, but fortunately not as often as would soon be the case.
What a grand re-issue of a grand band that deserves much more recognition.
A must for Metal/Doom/Black Sabbath/great music fans.
This is raw, ragged doom metal. If you can get past the low-budget 80’s production, you’ll unearth some of the most emotionally potent, introverted metal of its time. Sabbathian riffs meet Maidenesque twin guitar melodies in unpredictable, twisting arrangements, all of which add up to a bleak sound that not only bludgeons but–if I may be a bit melodramatic–weeps and sobs. That is, on this and other early Trouble albums, the team of guitarists Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin create a unique throbbing, sobbing metal guitar sound that’s quite magical, shining through despite the dodgy production. Complementing this guitar sound, vocalist Eric Wagner screeches lyrics that grapple earnestly with questions of faith, sin and the meaning of life, and does so in a way that doesn’t come off as pompous or preachy, but rather self-questioning and heartfelt, as if these existential doubts and questions genuinely torment him.
This album is not beyond criticism–the progressive arrangements can be needlessly busy and self-indulgent; the over-long “The Wish” may have its moments but kills the album’s momentum as the 3rd song; Wagner’s vocals are sometimes too thin and reverb-drenched (he continued to improve to become a truly distinctive, soulful singer–check out Trouble’s self-titled or the LID side project).
Regarding this particular release, the slipcase artwork and photos are beautiful. The psychedelic, ominous album cover captures the feel and atmosphere of the music. On the downside, the CD notes suffer typos and, quite annoyingly, the lyrics are printed in ALL CAPS. (Though, it should be added the words are much more effective heard through the music; afterall, the lyrics aren’t exactly subtle literary masterpieces on the page–they’re from the gut, and meant to be heard as such) The extra live DVD is unlistenable and unwatchable, but fun for the hardcore fun who wants a taste of Trouble back in their heyday.
While I’m at it, I’ll plug their other recent re-issue, Psalm 9, which is more accessible, with catchier songs and riffs and a gloriously heavy guitar tone. I chose this one to review, as its the thorniest, and more difficult to appreciate at first, but deserves its champions.
The audio quality of this CD is excellent! You get all the great doom songs from The Skull at high decible levels! The DVD, which is a bonus, is not great, but this is the CD, not a DVD release. The re-release of Psalm 9 has better bonus DVD quality, but is only 20 minutes long, versus over an hour on The Skull DVD release.