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Trouble - The Distortion Field

The Distortion Field
by Lex Mishukhin / YngwieViking at 01 August 2013, 2:34 PM

LEX (9/10)

1979, a strange time indeed, BLACK SABBATH dumped Ozzy Osbourne, IRON MAIDEN are gaining momentum and the NWOBHM is on a steady rise. Yes, bands are getting faster, angrier, younger and the darker, slower, Bluesier sound of the SABBATH / PURPLE era seems to be dying out… or is it? 1979 was also the year that gave birth to a band many thought would continue the legacy of the SABBATH era, hailing from Aurora, Illinois, TROUBLE did just that, at least musically.

This band has not been very prolific, in 34 years they have released a rather small number of just 8 full length studio albums, but like I said in a previous review of mine, here at Metal Temple, it’s the quality and not the quantity that counts. And I was certainly very excited when I found out that my next review would be the legendary TROUBLE’s first full length in eight years. Usually the story goes “was waiting for it, was excited, got disappointed”, luckily that’s not even close to being the case.

TROUBLE seem very energized on their newest offering “The Distortion Field”. The album is a fine example of what makes this band special, especially considering todays musical landscape. The album creates a fantastic mix of 70s style Hard Rock and Doom Metal which blend together to create a one of a kind album for the year 2013.  A great example of what this band can do is heard on “One Life”, a very Heavy / Doom track with incredible guitar work to open it, fantastically soft yet heavy, great vocal melodies and slow pace, what more can you ask for? It also really impresses me that unlike many other bands who have tried to change in recent years TROUBLE have remained true to their roots, simply offering better production values to complement their sound.

Is this a perfect album? No, few albums are, but it’s certainly close to perfect for me as a fan of the genre. TROUBLE may have never reached the success levels they so rightfully deserve, but with “The Distortion Field” they once again show what they are capable of, creating great music while remaining true to their roots.


The epic rocky road that was walked by American mythical Doomsters TROUBLE since the beginning of their long career, full of missed opportunities, is like their sinister sound: cryptic, tortured, concrete, organic and damn real, indeed they are doomed for life. Their music has evolved from pure Doom (“Psalm 9”) to a more 70s psychedelic Rock (“Plastic Green Head”) back from vintage Hard Rock (2007's “Simple Mind Condition“), after some circumvolutions and many turmoils in the line-up, they are back stronger than ever, and all their past influences and historic elements are still present today further reinforced and enhanced by the dual guitar riffage of original iconic axemen Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartel with the final key magical touch created by a gifted fierce vocalist endowed with a soulful temperament like no other.

“The Distortion Field” is the first album with the legendary Kyle Thomas (once singer for the underrated proto Groove / Thrash Metal band EXHORDER do you remember the 1990s cult “Slaughter in the Vatican”???) -he was on and off touring with them between 1997 and 2000 , now he’s hopefully the permanent lead vocalist, formerly found in ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY / PITTS VS. PREPS and also fronting FLOODGATE-their 1996s “Penalty” could have been the early prequel and the most similar sounding album to “The Distortion Field” ever.

The full spectrum of the style once initiated by TROUBLE is used , with a bunch of high caliber songs as the rather typical dark mood of “When The Sky Comes Down” / ”The Greying Chill Of Autumn” or ''Your Reflection'' and the clever composed ''Hunters of Doom'' and “Butterflies” are among the best songs out of this album , the Stoner tracks “Glass of Lies” or “One Life” also reveal a surprising strong commercial appeal and the 70s groovy flavored cut like “Sucker” is exemplary , it’s quality stuff no doubt about it !Some numbers aren’t too in the sophisticated despair or the Melancholic atmosphere as “Paranoia Conspiracy” or “The Broken Have Spoken” and ''Have I told You'' even smells like an Alternative ballad , but it’s still entertaining and this straight to your brain focus method is somewhat refreshing. The sublime kyle Thomas (ex-FLOODGATE) vocal parts are overwhelming, he constantly shifts between many different and opposed singing styles,  sometimes even during the same song, bringing from time to time a Redneck Southern feel to some melodies. An amazing interpretation somewhere between contemporary Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X / ADRENALINE MOB), a young / full-ranged Philip Anselmo (DOWN / ex-PANTERA) or a late 2000s Chris Cornell (SOUNDGARDEN / ex-AUDIOSLAVE), yes, you read it well.

To summarize: The album is a strong return, from beginning to the end ruled by the Kyle Thomas’ exceptional singing performance, after listening for over six time in 2 days his voice and his vocal range are still impressive (“Sink Or Swim”) and still by far the strongest element of “The Distortion Field”.

4 Star Rating

1. When The Sky Comes Down
2. Paranoia Conspiracy
3. The Broken Has Spoken
4. Sink or Swim
5. One Life
7. Have I Told You
8. Glass of Lies
9. Butterflies
10. Sucker
11. Greying Chill of Autumn
12. Bleeding Alone
13. Your Reflection
Kyle Thomas – Vocals
Bruce Franklin – Guitar
Rick Wartell – Guitar
Mark Lira - Drums
Record Label: FRW Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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