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Trigger The Bloodshed - "Degenerate" (CD)

Trigger The Bloodshed - "Degenerate" CD cover image

"Degenerate" track listing:

1. A Vision Showing Nothing
2. De-Breed
3. Hollow Prophecy
4. Dead Vein
5. Dethrone
6. A Sterile Existence
7. The Soulful Dead
8. Until Kingdom Come
9. Whited Sepulcher (Bonus track)

Reviewed by on September 27, 2010

"On 'Degenerate,' Trigger the Bloodshed exudes the confidence of a band ten years and half a dozen albums into its career, putting them markedly ahead of the curve at this early stage of their existence."

Upon listening to “Degenerate,” the third full length release from Trigger the Bloodshed, which was founded just four years ago, it’s abundantly clear that this is a death metal band through and through. Yes, there are some core elements, but the idea that any band that utilizes anything remotely resembling a breakdown and triggered drums gets shuffled in with the rest of the deathcore ilk is so burned into the collective metal psyche that such comparisons seem almost unavoidable for any relatively young, new band.

On “Degenerate,” Trigger the Bloodshed exudes the confidence of a band ten years and half a dozen albums into its career, putting them markedly ahead of the curve at this early stage of their existence. Drum phenom Dan Wilding, who joined the band after departing from Belgian gore mongers Aborted, somehow manages to elude the trigger trap, or in other words sounding like every other modern drummer on a record, with a tight sound that places him squarely among the death metal drumming elite. The production might be too clean for purists who like a little dirt with their death metal, but can you really fault a band for valuing clarity in their sound? Danish producer and studio engineer Jacob Hansen, who has twiddled the knobs for bands ranging in style from Volbeat to Destruction, has given Trigger the Bloodshed a current, crystalline sound in which the tiniest nuances can be picked out in the mix.

As for the vocal attack, vocalist Jonny Burgan growls with the best of them, and the layered vocal tracks exhibit his clear enunciation and range. Lyrically, the songs seem to take on tried and true death metal topics, such as the obligatory rail against organized religion on “Hollow Prophecy,” so there’s nothing new there, but kudos to the lads from Bath for having a message behind the madness. The songs don’t have choruses in the traditional sense, but there are enough catchy, memorable lines that will only serve to further endear the band to new fans in the live setting.

Guitarists Rob Purnell, whose younger brother Dave holds things down nicely on the fat strings, and Martyn Evans offer a solid mix of mid-paced groove and tech death lead lines that slam along the fine line between accessibility and prowess. Meanwhile, the short solos on tracks such as “A Sterile Existence,” “A Vision Showing Nothing,” and “Dead Vein,” offer a pointed, refreshing variation that gets to the heart of the hook with surgical precision without lingering and overstaying their welcome.

The same could be said for the album as a whole. With nine tracks (if you get the digipack with the bonus track) clocking in at just over 36 minutes, “Degenerate” is a concrete staccato slab of modern death metal with little in the way of major gripes, even if it isn’t overly innovative. With the golden label trifecta of Metal Blade, Rising Records, and Candlelight Records handling the band’s business in different corners of the globe, Trigger the Bloodshed clearly has a bright future ahead if the band can settle into its sound, as it seems to be doing, develop a trademark, and stay the course while at the same time offering a little innovation here and there to keep things from becoming stagnant. If “Degenerate” is any indication, Trigger The Bloodshed is well on its way to doing exactly that.

Highs: Degenerate is solid from start to finish, with nary a lull to be found.

Lows: It’s not exactly groundbreaking material.

Bottom line: Trigger the Bloodshed has a knack for taking the best elements of their influences and bringing them together in a way that makes its sound seem like its own.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)