Album Review: Trigger The Bloodshed – Degenerate

I have to be honest at the outset and admit I’ve never been a big fan of Trigger The Bloodshed. I had plenty of respect for what they were doing in the UK extreme scene, but ‘The Great Depression’ was just too chaotic and muddled for me. But even I was (both literally and figuratively) blown away by their new CD ‘Degenerate’ when I popped it into my laptop.

Degenerate by Trigger The Bloodshed Unlike their previous effort, which seemed to be trying too many things all at once, the band has streamlined its approach on the new album. I assume this is down in equal parts to producer Mark Daghorn (the very same one who worked with Orange Goblin and Cradle Of Filth) and a new found maturity within the band that can only come from having toured the undying hell out of their last album.

The difference is telling because songs actually have some room to breathe now. Five-minute album opener ‘A Vision Showing Nothing’ is a great example of that – it has all the bluster and testosterone you love and expect from the Bristol quintet, but the song actually seems to be a cohesive unit headed in a particular direction, rather than a jumble of riffs and blastbeats lumped together and churned out with the dials turned to 11.

But the most significant change of all is the incorporation of groove in an even bigger way than before. At the risk of placing the band on a pedestal they can’t possibly live up to (Trigger he Bloodshed only released their first full-length in 2008, remember), songs like ‘De Breed’, ‘Dead Vein’ and ‘The Soulful Dead’ instantly bring Cannibal Corpse to mind with their passages of mid-paced chugga-chugga riffing and a groove so compelling you’d have to be tone deaf to dislike it. Clearly, the kids are growing up and, just like South Of Heaven era Slayer, have learnt that brutality comes in flavours other than 240 BPM.

Although supremely tight-knit as a unit, special mentions have to go out to vocalist Jonny Burgan and lead guitarist Rob Purnell – the former for some truly hair raising vocal lines (where did that uber-deep growl come from?!) and the latter for solos that work well within the structure of the song and aren’t exercises in fretboard showboating.

Is this album the greatest thing since sliced bread? Not by a longshot. But it definitely is one of the more compelling releases so far this year. It’s the kind of album that every band worth their salt makes early on in their career, i.e. one that will piss off some for not being a carbon copy of the older material. So fucking what? ‘Degenerate’ showcases a good band that is making all the right moves to head towards great. It will be a worthy addition to your record collection. [8]

Degenerate is out May 24, 2010 on Rising Records


About Abhijeet Ahluwalia

Abhijeet Ahluwalia – I’m a freelance journalist who goes back and forth between London and Bombay. A huge metalhead, but I have an eclectic taste, from reggae to punk. Oh, and Manchester United are the greatest team in the world. Follow me on Twitter or drop me a line via Email.

7 Responses to “Album Review: Trigger The Bloodshed – Degenerate”

  1. How did you manage to review this album?? It’s not even out yet!

  2. Press copy mate. Straight from the label.

  3. Ah. I know you, you’re that guy that sometimes reviews albums in Metal Hammer magazine, right? Anyway, great review, looks like I need to buy this if you really think this album is worth an 8 out of 10.

    And may I ask, how much would you give ‘The Great Depression’ out of 10?

  4. I’d give The Great Depression a 6. Like I said, it was too chaotic for me, though it showed the promise of bigger things to come. What did you make of it?

  5. I’d give The Great Depression a 7. Solid, but like you said, it’s a tad chaotic, and I also think it was slightly unmemorable. But it did show promise, like you said.

    So you really think that Degenerate is worth an 8 out of 10?

  6. I write reviews of Cd’s as well and am trying to make a name for myself. I was wondering how you get to the point of being able to get the press copies from the labels? I must also compliment you about the review. From the songs I’ve heard it does seem that trigger the bloodshed have grown away from their grind-core sound and matured into a well structured band.

  7. Just stick to it Dan, when the time is right they’ll get in touch with you :)