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Trouble - Psalm 9 (Reissue) Award winner

Psalm 9 (Reissue)
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 10 April 2021, 7:40 AM

Doom Metal wasn’t born to be aesthetically beautifully melancholic. The initial years of the genre were based on recreating the moldy, bitter and oppressive crushing ambiences that BLACK SABBATH sparked of “Black Sabbath”, “Paranoid” and “Master of Reality”. But in such way ‘back-to-basics’ some bands became legendary for setting the foundations of Doom Metal and expanding limits, in a way to not be clones of the founders of Heavy Metal. One of these masters if the Chicago based quintet TROUBLE, and these words can be confirmed with this new release for “Psalm 9” (that was released on March 10th, 1984).

Originally named “Trouble” (the change was done after the band’s fourth album, with the same name), this release is seen as one of the roots from Doom Metal: bitter and climatic and a funeral dirge, and with a heavy crushing weight that wasn’t easy to find on those days. But in the center of such brutal oppressive form of music is a spinal of multiple and precious musical arrangements inherited from Hard Rock and Rock genres from the 60’s and 70’s, along with a dose of influences of JUDAS PRIEST (especially on the guitars). And with that, the quintet created a new embodiment for the classical work from Birmingham fathers.

Brian Slagel did the production along the master Bill Metoyer (who did the sound engineering as well), and as an independent album, it has a dry and hard sonority. But in such form, the music of the band is presented in an organic form, and flowing with everything in a way that can be understood by the listeners without problems. Today, it can sound a bit moldy, but for those days, this sonority was better than the greater part of Doom Metal bands (and it fits on what the band wanted needed for express their songs).

“Psalm 9” is a classic, and its songs still sound fresh and aggressive today. But for those who don’t know their musical work (shame on you, if it’s the case), classics as “The Tempter” (a slow paced song in some parts, and with faster moments, and such contrasts show the amazing work from the vocals, with changes of tunes fitting on such changes), “Assassin” (a faster song, with a classical Heavy Metal insight, and with a charming work of the guitars on the riffs and solos), “Victim of the Insane” (this one shows the clear influence of BLACK SABBATH on the tempos, with a charming and hypnotic chorus and a crushing work from bass guitar and drums on the rhythms), “Bastards Will Pay” (a colossal weight comes from this one, along with fine arrangements on the guitars), and “Psalm 9” (amazing melodies contrasting with the gross aggressiveness of the band, with great guitars and vocals) are the ones to begin with. But don’t you dare to leave their version for CREAM’s “Tales of Brave Ulysses” (here presented in a heavier and climatic version) aside.

One more thing: their lyrical themes are a source of polemics until today. But the lyrics were done in such way because they were evading that thing of ‘satan’, ‘hell’ and similar stuffs aside, to create a different way. In the statement done by Eric, the vibe of satanic stuff wasn’t his. So, you’re invited to know TROUBLE’s work, and this new issue of “Psalm 9” is a great chance.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

5 Star Rating

1.  The Tempter
2.  Assassin
3.  Victim of the Insane
4.  Revelation (Life or Death)
5.  Bastards Will Pay
6.  The Fall of Lucifer
7.  Endtime
8.  Psalm 9
9.  Tales of Brave Ulysses 
Eric Wagner - Vocals
Rick Wartell - Guitars
Bruce Franklin - Guitars
Sean McAllister - Bass
Jeff Olson - Drums
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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