I Am The Trireme - Gnosis: Never Follow The Light (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)

Almost there...
Release Date: 
29 Jun 2015 - 11:30pm

Melodic death, symphonic black metal Philadelphian rockers I Am The Trireme refuse to be pinned down to any particular genre with their debut Gnosis. It's straight into it with Metre Fin a Cette with bags of blasting and tremelo picking care of le noir metal. One of the first things that strikes me is that the production is very clean. There's prominent bass (big tick) and there's a depth to the arrangements that is wholly symphonic. Here's a nice acoustic interlude and I'm liking the juxtaposition of the flamenco against the blasting. But somethings nags at the back of my mind. Is something missing? Perhaps because the sound is neither wholly black or wholly death (and nor, it could be suggested, is it wholly anything)? There's no rumble or low end, that's what it is...

Despite production issues, I sense a level of intelligence and discernment here; the band obviously has an urge to do something outside of the norm. This much is apparent on the opening track. So Trusty Noose commences with an old school ramble around the kit - argh! that bloody empty sound comes back again; it's like listening to the album via somebody else listening to the album via some shitty headphones. Yet there's something I really like about Gnosis. To get all Yoda-like on you; I sense the inherent greatness on here but something needs to happen with the sound/production (and possibly the song structures). The 'la la la' chorus on Trusty Noose is so woeful that my head drops in sadness. There's such potential on here. I feel it, dammit. Again, Basking In The Essence of My Sorrow; sexy drums that are almost funkalicious but before you know it, the track has lost its way. This album appears almost metal-core at its heart. Some elements are spot on and others are so, so not. I find myself getting into a juicy riffing section and then it goes off on a disconnected tangent. Many sections on many of the songs on here seem like they're been hammered together, as opposed to being lovingly slotted into a harmonious whole. Tip: any square peg will fit into any round hole if you use a mallet. There's so much potential bubbling away but it needs to be distilled and purified. Album number two should be a corker...

I just get the impression that the band are a) way better than this in the flesh, and b) have lost something of themselves in the making of this album. I am a cruel, cold man and I make no apologies for that.