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Album Reviews : Trigger – Machina

By on February 1, 2014

Well, 2014 is here! Last year saw an embarrassment of notable, and no shortage of lackluster, releases; now a new year is upon us, will it meet up to the standard set by its preceding year, or exceed them? If Trigger’s debut EP Machina is anything to go by, then I would say that we’re off to a great start. Trigger, a young band with a modest following, have established a presence all their own, playing many stand-out shows including, but not limited to, Ausocalypse and the farewell show for Bellusira; and they have followed this all up with a promising release (set to be released February 22nd) that is sure to garner them even more attention.

This EP is an excellent example of what a relatively unknown band can accomplish when you put no small amount of passion, coupled with considerable talent, into your work. Each track of Machina has a distinct and aggressive burst of energy to it that is raw and definitely infectious. From the understated, yet oddly tense, intro track Ashes to the title track, there is a strong authority that pervades the entire effort; all from the tone and melody of the guitars, to the thick and powerful drums, to the standout attack of the vocals. It is clear that Trigger have set out to bring something of their own, something personal, to their local scene and have most emphatically put their all into it; and as someone who can appreciate that, it is certainly not escaped my notice. I dare say it won’t escape yours.

Machina consists of a solid six tracks (Yes, I am including the Intro in this one; if you are wondering why I didn’t for The Ophidian Ascension, then ask me some other time) with no effort spared in bringing out a powerful, rock-driven beast for each. There is also a surprising amount of variety in the tracks; all of which offer up a full and brawny serving of Trigger’s style: a strong and sturdy force of sound.

There is a very full-on feel to Trigger as a band, and it has been brought out into their EP with complete push and vigor, as evidenced by the opening (well, technically track 2) piece Burnt. It begins with an almost typical lead in and build up, with robust guitars and unyielding drums, but you know that you are in for something a touch different when the melodic run of guitar makes its presence known, and you’re given yet another swerve when the vocals kick in. An incredibly impressive start to an EP and this is only about one minute and seven seconds in!

One question you might wind up asking yourself is can Machina keep up this level of energy? Well, I can, most assuredly, say that yes, it does. The EP possesses a striking vitality that bears a lot of impudence and genuine heart to it, all the while reserved but not restrained. If anything, it is that capriciousness that constitutes my only real gripe with the EP; the lyrics all seem a touch trivial, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call them immature. Bear in mind, this is my only real critical notion towards Machina, and it is a minor one at that. The songs (averaging at around six minutes a piece) are all soundly contained in this EP, showcasing Trigger as a whole; nothing is held back here and the unmistakable heart put in to each track really shines. The track End of Life is probably the most sincere of the pieces in Machina, and bear in mind I do not use the terms sincere as to mean mellifluous or delicate, there is just as much intensity and force here than in any of the other tracks, but the melodic strains and somewhat bitter vocals complement the work and present a strong essence, which may well be classed as Trigger’s signature.

However, with that said, there is not much in the way of subtlety in the EP. Whilst there is a precarious balance, or rather contrast, between the aggression of their music and the affecting and emotional vocals. The contrast is a stark one, but it all fits together very pleasingly; but then, you do have an inexorable and uncompromising force to contend with in Machina. The title track carries this aforementioned dissimilarity in spades, and while a more critical view might see this is Paint-by-Numbers (Or would that be “Play-by-Numbers”, since we’re talking about music?) there is an identity here that is shown on its sleeve; the influences on the band are clear but not obnoxious or overt.

Still, with all that said, one might see this as Trigger playing it low-key, which is understandable for a first release, but upon listening to the tracks, and EP as a whole, you will see, hear and feel the assiduousness put into Machina. Bear in mind that though I use words like care, passion and sincerity, these are not to be taken lightly, as this EP is one exemplary work that is going to have no trouble pumping you up.

For fans of melodic metal with a distinct rocky feel, Trigger’s Machina will be right up your alley, and for those of you looking to try something new, this EP will definitely do the job. So, should you find yourself near The Evelyn Hotel, in Melbourne, on February 22nd I would have no problem recommending you check out their EP launch and pick up a copy.

Band: Trigger
Album: Machina
Year: 2014
Genre: Melodic metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Melbourne, Australia

Track list:
1. Ashes
2. Burnt
3. My Darkness
4. Ascension
5. End of Life
6. Machina

About

Hailing from parts unknown (actually, it’s Melbourne), Tristan is a freelance writer and lover of metal, with a special place in his heart for Power and Folk metal. After playing in a number of local Melbourne metal bands, and completing his Bachelor of Arts, Tristan focuses his attention to the pursuit of writing, practicing the Liechtenauer School of swordsmanship, dabbling in Cosplay and reciting Babylon 5 quotes; in addition to hunting for a publisher for his novel. Until then, he enjoys metal, writing about metal and convincing people around his office that he is immortal and has lived for 3,000 years. (So far only the chick in HR is buying it)