Trinacria - Travel Now Journey Infinitely
Indie Recordings
Progressive Black Metal / Industrial Post-Metal
6 songs (47:11)
Release year: 2008
Indie Recordings
Reviewed by Goat

Trinacria sounds like a good idea on paper: members of Norwegian post-Black Metallers Enslaved collaborating with female Noise duo Fe-Mail, the Progressive Black mixing with the Power Electronics to create a beast all of its own. Well, you’d be half right if you thought that, as although this is a mixture that’s more than the sum of its parts, it only occasionally touches the heights of genius that we’d expect from musicians of such an ilk as Enslaved. What exactly the problem is with Travel Now Journey Infinitely – apart from that unsettling lack of a comma – is hard to explain until you’ve heard it, but those high expectations will not be fulfilled so much as swept aside. Starting life as a live project, the decision to go further and release a studio album means that we’re automatically going to be faced with something that’s of lesser quality than if it had been devised for general release from the start. As a result, although the songs here are more than decent – barely short of excellent, being fair – there seems little to tie it all together, little to make these songs into an album.

From the start Trinacria clearly take the Neurosis approach to music, rising and falling waves of sound hitting your ears. Opening track Turn-Away opens with tribal drumming and electronic muttering, the latter of which grows more obvious and creepy as the track progresses. A circular Doomy guitar riff appears, and it’s to this that you’ll find yourself clinging like a lifeboat in a stormy ocean as the backing noise becomes more complex and overbearing. Ivar Bjornson’s deep growl surfaces and then sinks back into the depths, a sound that sounds very much like a child keening is heard faintly, and the end of the song descends into white noise.

The Silence, the following track, seems more traditional, a melodic Black Metal riff broken up by bursts of power electronics, before a sound more akin to recent Enslaved comes forth, atmospheric riffing carrying you into the eye of the storm and back. Make No Mistake follows, more Red Harvest than anything else, with plenty of Industrial Thrashing. At exactly ten minutes of length Endless Roads is the longest track on the album, and follows an early Isisy path, psychedelically hypnotising the listener and fading away.

Ultimately, that’s the main problem with Travel Now Journey Infinitely – you’re travelling for what seems like an infinite time, but you never reach your destination, are never given that moment when the tidal wave of building fury explodes – you never get the payoff that most Post-Rock/Metal provides. It’s like being threatened menacingly, only for the person doing the threatening to suddenly change the subject and talk blithely about the weather. The overall effect may be even more disconcerting, but when applied to music it doesn’t make for a very satisfactory listen.

No doubt by now your eyes have travelled downwards further, noted that pretty good score of 80 / 100, and wondered what I’m complaining about if the album’s that good. Well, considering the respect and standing of the musicians involved, this should have been a 90, not an 80, it should have been ‘mind-bogglingly impressive’, not ‘excellent’. Cuts like the title track, with its use of silence and whispers, cinematic female vocals, the expert touch of melancholy – this is the work of musical geniuses, no question. However, it is the work of musical geniuses that we are used to seeing push themselves, advance the genre, make music that raises the hairs on your neck, and whilst Travel Now Journey Infinitely is an excellent album, it’s just not good enough. Oh, you’ll enjoy it, without question, but it won’t leave you as satisfied as it should, and so ultimately is nothing more than a stopgap before Enslaved’s new album, out later this year. You’ll have forgotten all about this by then…

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Turn-Away, The Silence, Make No Mistake, Endless Roads, Travel Now Journey Infinitely
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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