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Trishula – Scared to Breathe

Scared to Breathe
by Santiago Puyol at 20 April 2019, 6:35 PM

TRISHULA was born from guitarist Neil Fraser solo project in 2015. “Scared to Breathe” is the band’s debut, and it’s anchored on the melodic Hard Rockinfluences of previous bands Fraser has played with (TEN, RAGE OF ANGELS), while adding a few Glam Metal and Hair Metal influences right from the 80’s.

This is particularly noticeable with the very beginning of opening track, “I Can See it In Your Eyes”, with some catchy synths and a strong, almost new wave vibe. It sets the mood of the record in a way and it’s a strong song on its own, probably one of the most noteworthy tracks in this 57 minutes musical ride.

Nostalgia seems to be extremely present in this album. The title track continues the trend of synth-heavy arrangements, somewhat theatrical vocals and shredding guitar solos that brings to mind the guitar heroes of the Hair Metal era. Although for a five minute song it surely repeats itself a bit too much. “A Thousand Pieces” manages to be much more interesting despite being two minutes longer, and the longest song overall, crossing the 7-minute mark. Joao Colaco provides some creative drumming - especially when it comes to the usage of tom-toms and cymbals.

“Secrets and Lies” happens to be a nice change of pace, bringing some bluesy piano playing. Vocals aside, it sounds like a song that could fit perfectly on “Making Movies” by DIRE STRAITS, as it mixes the album’s new wave vibe with a bluesy, Rock’n’Roll feel. One can certainly picture Mark Knopfler singing there without much of an effort; and it even gets a stimulating coda anchored in piano and drums.

The album delves into ballad mode – and gets kind of stuck on it for a while – with “I Never Cried”, which could have made a classic Power Ballad list if it had been released three decades ago. It would sit comfortably among “Carrie” by EUROPE, “Always” by BON JOVI, “Crazy” by AEROSMITH, “Love Walks In” by VAN HALEN and even “Everything I Do (I Do it For You)” by Bryan Adams. There’s some really emotional singing by Jason Morgan and the string-like synths give the song a swelling feel.

The second half of the album feels quite uneventful and simply lacklustre in comparison to the first half, with the exception of the final two tracks. From “Homeland” to “A Love So Cruel” it’s tired trope after tired trope, shuffling between soft rock balladry and synth-heavy Hair Metal, feeling a tad too samey and uninspired.

“Magnetic Memories” ends up being the best song in the album and the most unique track here. Its proggy intro brings to mind Italian Prog bands from the 70’s, like PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI something I most certainly wasn’t expecting here. Even though the track moves into a more traditional 80’s rock sound after those first 45 seconds, it still manages to be way more creative and thought-provoking than every song before. It also finds time for an eastern-tingled instrumental breakdown.

Closer “Jealousy” is, in a way, the little cousin of “Magnetic Memories”. Having a more modern approach to songwriting - without losing the clear 80’s influence - the band gets to sound quite heavy at moments, while also using weird synth sounds to provide apeculiar but intriguing atmosphere to the song. Its epic chorus is the most memorable one on the whole album, and there are some superb drum fills throughout the track.

Although most of “Scared to Breathe” sounds a bit derivative and trite, the first half has some captivating and memorable songwriting, whilst the last two songs succeed in finding a distinctive voice compared to the rest of the record. Still, there’s room for improvement and a bit of self-editing could have helped; in particular losing some of the weaker tracks on the middle section.

The album has a more than decent production, but the bass gets a little lost in the mix, something that makes some songs (especially the faster-paced ones) lose some needed depth and power.

A little too much nostalgia, but overall, it’s an entertaining record.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. I Can See it In Your Eyes
2. Scared to Breathe
3. A Thousand Pieces
4. Secrets and Lies
5. I Never Cried
6. Homeland
7. Don’t Let Go
8. Suicide Satellite
9. A Love So Cruel
10. Magnetic Memories
11.  Jealousy
Neil Fraser – Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Jason Morgan – Vocals
Joao Colaco – Drums
Rick Benton – Additional Keyboards
Record Label: AOR Heaven


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