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Truent – Through the Vale of Earthly Torment

Through the Vale of Earthly Torment
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 April 2022, 7:40 AM

The album came through as an EPK without any information. The band formed in British Columbia, Canada. Their Facebook page describes them as Progressive Metal, but The Metal Archives calls them Thrash/Groove. These are two very different things. Without much information to go on, we will have to let the music do the talking. The album contains eight tracks.

“Blood and Dust” opens the album. It begins with clean guitars followed by heavily distorted guitars that venture out. From the opening sequence, I would say this is Progressive Death Metal/Technical Death Metal. The arrangements are super tight and the drums register as machine guns. “Usurper of the Sky” begins with a slower grind with rich instrumentation and audible bass notes. The production is quite well done for an Indie band. That technical sound is surely tense and compact but too much of it doesn’t give the album much room to breathe. “Silk and Bone” is similar in scope. We are not going to get any clean vocals here. The punishing sound is relentless and the dissonance high.

“The Last Hunt” is a shorter song with even more chaotic energy. The band is clearly talented and even let some melody into this song, but the beating down of Death Metal elements reigns supreme. “This Verdant Coil” is another bruising song that follows some meter shifting so close it is hard to imagine. However, I can do without the rapping cadence in the vocals. “In the Mire” is a very short interlude, and perhaps the song I have been waiting for to break up some of the brutal elements of the album. My head can only take so much. “Scathe of Branches” opens with a punishing instrumental passage that eventually leads to vocals, and the familiar sound returns.

“Damned of the Deep” closes the album. It’s another head-pounding song with harsh vocals and tight instrumentation. The band showcases their talent on the album, which is undeniable. Moving in and out and through impossibly tight passages, and stopping and starting on a dime seem to be an almost afterthought of the band, or a by-product of the style. My issue with this is that the eight songs sound very similar, and there is little room for creativity. Sure, they can play with the best of them, but to what end?

Songwriting: 3
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 3
Production: 8

2 Star Rating

1. Blood and Dust
2. Usurper of the Sky
3. Silk and Bone
4. The Last Hunt
5. This Verdant Coil
6. In the Mire
7. Scathe of Branches
8. Damned to the Deep
John Roodenrys – Vocals, Acoustic Guitars, Additional Rhythm Guitar
Matthew Pancoust – Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Spence McIntosh – Bass
Nic Landry – Drums, Percussion
Daniel Clark – Rhythm Guitar
Record Label: Independent


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