• Sammy O'Hagar


Trigger the Bloodshed couldn’t have picked a worse time to be a (something) the (something) band playing death metal with the occasional fit of hardcore swagger: nothing could be hotter, and nothing could be less appealing to anyone over the age of 19. The thing with TtB, though, is that the hardcore swagger is incredibly brief, and greatly overshadowed by the fact that the band play a fierce, unrelenting brand of fucking death metal. The Great Depression, the band’s latest, has all the subtlety, nuance, and melodic sensibility of a bone saw; it doesn’t resort clean vocals or ambient tracks (well, they do one, but it‘s quick), instead opting to tear right the fuck into you until there’s nothing left but skin and hair folicles. Cheesy, overwrought metaphors aside, if one considers the band deathcore, then this is a hefty argument in its defense. But if you’re not so hung up on labels, and, more importantly, if you like your death metal fast to the point of seizure-inducing, Trigger the Bloodshed, believe it or not, are your kind of band.

The Great Depression is essentially 34 minutes of jagged, hairpin riffing and blast beats, with little room for air. The air available, though, is in the form of death metal-style grooves that evoke a sort of meanness sadly lacking in their supposed Death-shirt-and-pubescent-acne genre brethren. But if you come to death metal for grooves, don’t come to Trigger the Bloodshed: the band do velocity better than slowing down, both in terms of being more interesting at almost uncomfortable speeds and the fact that their grooves, with the exception of the ominous stomp at the end of “The Dead World” and the infected flush of melodic chords near the conclusion of “Disfigured Anonymity,” aren’t that good. But that doesn’t matter, as the band seem to be aware that they’re better as a fierce and fast procession of death metal riffs than yet another Suffocation-biting unit.

Trigger the Bloodshed’s issue is not what plagues most bands – the sore thumb-quality presence of singing, keyboards, and/or a self-conscious dependence on breakdowns – but that their unrelenting nature gets tiresome after a while. A song or three quicken the pulse enjoyably; a full length’s worth of blasting and nimble fingered fretwork with middling grooves can leave one wanting something else. But, to be honest, that more than anything is a matter of personal taste. If rabid, no fucking bullshit death metal is your thing, ignore the fact that the band has a “the” in the middle of their name, or look like a pack of deathcore hoods and give Trigger the Bloodshed a chance. If bullshit-and-breakdowns is your thing, sadly, you’ll have to go elsewhere. May I suggest the mall?

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(3 ½ out of 5 horns)


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