Trident Death Rattle by TwilightRelease date: May 1, 2018
Label: Ascension Monuments Media
Four years after the release of their last album, III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb, the black metal super-group, Twilight have released what they’ve said is to be their final recording Trident Death Rattle. An extended player with tracks drawn from the III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb LP sessions, Trident Death Rattle features the return of the most recent incarnation of the band, who over their duration have seen numerous member come and go, including ISIS stalwart Aaron Turner and Scott Connor of Xasthur. One of the most intriguing, recent additions to the line-up has been Thurston Moore of the seminal noise-rock outfit Sonic Youth. Curiously from the interviews with guitarist Blake Judd, it’s Moore’s influence which was said to have had, one of the greatest impacts on the record, serving as both an inspiration to Judd as well as providing assistance with the writing process, which going by Judd’s words was anything but smooth.
Opening track ‘This Road South’ pushes the group multi-pronged vocal approach to the forefront as a chorus of screams, yells and growls join primary vocalist and bassist Neil Jameson’s, corrosive vocal flow, whilst the guitars trace mournful melodies over a purposeful drum beat. Parker’s amorphous electronics also make an appearance their eerie, enigmatic presence floating alongside the despondent guitars.
The following track ‘Weathered Flames’ continues to explore the slow-burning, mid-tempo aspect of the band’s sound, utilizing distorted, detuned guitars and scrambled electronic noises, courtesy of Sanford Parker of Nachtmystium. Building slowly from its lugubrious origins, ‘Weathered Flame’ gradually unfurls, showcasing a few unexpected passages of noisy power chords, furious tremolo picking and inorganic ambience. Whilst perhaps it’s somewhat lacking in the visceral power and dynamism of ‘This Road South’ and Judd has previously confessed to feeling somewhat uninspired with regards to its composition, it’s a solid enough offering.
The final track, ‘No Consequence’ leads with the layered wintry guitar melodies, pummeling blast-beats and perhaps unexpectedly guest Scott Judd’s banjo, whilst Jameson, contributes a coruscating vocal accompaniment. There’s a slight change of pace throughout the latter half of the track as the band slip into something akin to a post-metal breakdown, and other vocals emerge before the blistering blast-beats reenter the melee to drive the track towards its bitter conclusion.
Whilst ‘Trident Death Rattle’ is a fitting swan song for the group, the three tracks they’ve produced being among their most expansive experimental work, it’s also perhaps slightly bittersweet given the fact that it’s a reminder of the band’s current state of nonexistence. Still, there are worse ways to call time on a project than an EP, that bucks convention, evading many of the regular black metal tropes, in favour of something dark, powerful and hypnotic and a timely reminder of just how creative and ingenious the US black metal scene can be.