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Troll - Troll

by Chris Hawkins at 28 March 2018, 11:46 PM

TROLL play the type of Metal that embodies its roots in bands like PENTAGRAM, BUDGIE, and that one band called BLACK SABBATH.  Without spending time copying, TROLL allow their influences to guide them towards the beginning of a path.  This path at times is bitter like the organic, earthy taste of magic mushrooms, smoky with a haze built from at least marijuana, and curves along peaks, valleys, and all places in between much like a twelve-hour acid trip.  It's good clean fun for the kids!  Pressing play answers Timothy Leary's own call to worship bidding listeners "turn on, tune in, and drop out."

This self-titled debut was originally released in 2016, but now that the band have been signed, it's now being re-released in anticipation of a follow-up later this year.  "The Summoning" starts the album off with the band jamming on a couple different guitar motifs.  The first couple minutes are a fitting representation of the band's ability to shift moods from dark to light, slow to fast, mellow to heavy.  After about three minutes, the vocals enter and the guitar player kicks on his phaser pedal to give the song just the right trippy feel.  While BLACK SABBATH were able to fit their ideas concisely into their songs, TROLL seem to thrive off jamming.  This is by no means sixteen-minute GRATEFUL DEAD jams, however.  The second track titled "The Witch" begins with a slow dirge where the guitar plays a descending Doom riff while the overdriven bass plays ascending runs.  The vocals have their roots in the genre, but on this song, they also have the sound of Perry Farell of JANE'S ADDICTION after emptying the bag of his Volcano in one huge huff.  Also of note is the fourth track, "Infinite Death" which starts off with a classic pentatonic-framed guitar run that kicks out the jams into a raucous melee.  This is without a doubt not only the most original song, but also the one that is the most straightforward.

The Doom/Stoner scene is one that has become overflowing with talent across the world.  Troll plays Doom from Portland that sounds like Doom from Portland.  This is fuzzed-out goodness where the guitar sound achieves its ideal soundwith a distortion that breaks up perfectly with girth and clarity.  Clearly, the band has done their homework with a sound that incorporates influences like TROBULE and BLACK SABBATH along with nods to lesser known bands such as SIR LORD BALTIMORE and LUCIFER'S FRIEND.  The singer tends to sound at times a bit like John Lawton from LUCIFER'S FRIEND, while sounding a lot like Wino of ST. VITUS and THE OBSESSED throughout the album.  The bass player steals the show as this subgenre seems to be the place bassists are truly able to shine within Heavy Metal.  The bass is fuzzy yet clear and massive all around playing with a mean tenacity accented by soulful runs that owe as much to Stanley Clark as Geezer Butler.  The drums are heavy and hard-hitting, in the pocket when needed, and over-the-top with fills across the toms and cymbal bashing when appropriate.  TROLL's first release is better than other bands' second, third, and beyond, and if this is any indication of their future direction, all eyes will be on them to blaze a path to gold.

Songwriting:        8
Originality:          7
Memorability:    7
Production:         7

3 Star Rating

1. The Summoning
2. The Witch
3. An Eternal Haunting
4. Infinite Death
5. Savage Thunder
Lou VanLanning - Guitar
Wayne Boucher – Bass
John - Vocals
Ryan Koger – Drums
Record Label: Shadow Kingdom Records


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