Album Review: In Trenches - 'Relive and Regret'

22 July 2009 | 5:04 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Awesome debut from Melbourne band

Taking members from the cream of Adelaide's hardcore scene, ex Day of Contempt vocalist Ben Coyte and ex Prom Queen guitarist Kevin Cameron, it should come as no surprise that In Trenches debut full length is instrumentally a very solid piece of work.  If you've rocked up to an internationally headlined hardcore gig in the last 18 months chances are you might have caught In Trenches in support, having fronted up for the BTBAM/Bleeding Through tour in 2008, and supporting Misery Signals at their Melbourne show earlier this year.


Joel Taylor's work on the skins brings a sense of organic fluidity to the tracks that is so often absent from records of this ilk due to overproduction and too many trigger pads.  Taylors quick and complex rhythms provide a welcome break from all the blastbeating and double-kick thrashing that is rife on 90 percent of metalcore releases these days.  'Caving In', an instrumental reprieve preceding the album's monstrous closer, provides some insight into the lighter side of the bands sound, with Taylor laying down some very neat West-African style drumming grooves overlaid with some swirling clean guitars.


Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

The drums are met with grating technical guitar work, heaps of Converge-esque dissonant chords, stop-starts and plenty of timing changes.  There are breakdowns strewn through the album, but they're not the "lol br00tal" bass heavy kind that will see 14 year old girly-boys blaring the album out their windows at the maccas drive-thru to impress chicks, they're tasteful, they fit in seamlessly with the surrounding melodies and Coyte's strained yell provides an aggressive context


In Trenches have clearly cottoned on to a trick or two standing side-stage of their touring partners, most notably Misery Signals.  Tracks like 'Adrift' showcase some soaring clean guitar licks that are almost a little bit too tied to MS's last offering Controller.  That said, Relive and Regret is a much more aggressive offering than the latest from their tour mates, lyrically bleak but full of guts, piss and steel.


The dark and gritty hardcore production of "Relive and Regret" suits Coyte's ball-tearing vocal style and reinforces the desolate and ominous lyrics thanks to the efforts of the Red Shore's Roman Koester and man-about-town Tim Bates behind the helm of the albums production.


Coming in around the 27 minute mark over 8 tracks (1 instrumental) the record is pretty short, but it doesn't seem it.  The density and timing changes mean that you get the same sense of diversity as you might in a record twice the length.

In a round-about way this is an absolutely nut-pummelling offering from this veteran line-up. The lads have come up with a sound that is unique even if their influences and backgrounds might be pretty blatantly obvious in places.  Expect to see these guys playing much further toward the headlining end of the big gigs from now on.

Without aA Sign
An Awakening
Relive and Regret
Counting Down
Caving In