Trouble – Psalm 9 (CD)

Format CD
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Trouble’s early work and, in particular, Psalm 9 represent everything that doom metal should be (but so often is not). Here is a band who are really rather diverse, with regard to tempo, arrangements and mood, and are not afraid to break the mold of what is typically expected of a doom band. For 1984 this is an incredibly contemporary record; it’s doom to the bone, but also thrashy and featuring some, for the time, modern heavy metal touches. At its heart there’s nothing regressive or throw-backy about this record. Doom nowadays often seems to be a byword for “play slow, minimize your metallic leanings”.

Of course, Psalm 9 answers to one’s prayers as it has lead guitar and fast parts in abundance. Contrast is key to its success and every stomping, down-trodden riff is offset by a fast break. Trouble love playing slow, but they’ll rip your face off, too! That’s really what’s so great about Trouble; they’re never content to stand still, the music is constantly going somewhere. They’re throwing out riffs left, right and center and still writing cohesive, memorable songs. Eric Wagner’s ‘king of the harpies’ vocals, the Priest-gone-doom guitar delivery and that staggering rhythm section.

To this day, we have not heard many records that are as blisteringly heavy as this. Like a ghost train hammering down on its way to hell, Trouble are just an unstoppable force on this record. That guitar sound, those thunderous drums, some of the best tracks in all of metal and Wagner giving what is certainly one of the most commanding vocal performances one has ever heard. For 1984 this is only second to Don’t Break the Oath, and Trouble have more in common musically with Mercyful Fate than what people these days consider doom metal.

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