(This is Todd Manning‘s review of the debut EP by the UK band Trial, which is set for release on July 10th.)
We might associate the Eighties with some sort of neon-nightmare Glam Metal and New Wave bastardized Pop Music, but there was definitely a strain of post-collapse apocalypticism running through the underground of Metal, Punk and Industrial at the time that seems to capture the dystopian/collapse feeling better than just about anyone, including those of us who now seem to be living out that particular dream. Trial might be of today, but they tap that Eighties eschatological strain as well as anyone.
This music sounds like it was composed in a plastic coffin, one of many strewn across the nuclear wasteland. The guitar summons the feel of primitive Thrash, simple riffs played in a minimalist fashion, almost sounding as if they’ve been ripped from some long-lost cassette demo. These are then juxtaposed against a cold and punishing drum machine and an equally disaffected vocal style that seems smuggled in from a Post-Punk record. The result is both captivating and punishing, often walking a fine-line near the fist-pumping goodness that recalls the Heavy Metal of an earlier time, yet with a layer of noise and abstraction poured over the mix that keeps this from being just a nostalgia trip.