Trigger The Bloodshed - Degenerate
Metal Blade
Death Metal
9 songs (36:02)
Release year: 2010
Metal Blade
Reviewed by Goat

As I predicted in my review of Trigger The Bloodshed’s last album, 2009’s The Great Depression, there was a good chance that their third album would be excellent, and whilst there’s still some way to go before they really make my jaw drop, Degenerate is a massive, massive step up from before. For one, the Bristol-based band actually write songs instead of collections of blasts now, making for a far more enjoyable experience. It’s also notable that their instrumental skills have increased, and all together add up to the sort of bottom-heavy full-on Death Metal surge that causes bloodbaths in Da Pit. Pleasingly, there’s very little of the stereotypical Modern Death/Deathcore slam-and-dance that causes your average Metalhead to raise their nose – Dan Wilding, the band’s current drummer, has also sat on the stool for Aborted and Aosoth, amongst others, so there’s a real Metal heritage at work here – but as you have probably already guessed from the artwork, this ain’t for girls. No, none of your Melodic Death stuff here, the likes of De-Breed seem to say with twangy Meshuggah-esque openings and groovy piledriving crunches that pin you to the wall and pummel you in a manly fashion, before letting loose the sort of shreddy soloing that makes your average metal fan throw the horns like their life depends on it.

I’m reluctant to say it at all, but if there’s a serious fault to be found it’s in the court of vocalist Johnny Burgan. Technically, he’s fine, powerful deep growls and even deeper grunts, all as vicious and vengeful as they should be, but he does it just a little too much, several times repeating a phrase when he’d have done far better just to shut up and let the music do the talking. Fortunately this isn’t a severe issue and he’s more aware of his place than many a more experienced band’s frontperson – elsewhere, the songs can seem slightly repetitive and/or samey, but considering the album’s as tight and ruthlessly-lengthed as it is, this is far from a problem. The likes of Dead Vein are very impressive, razor-edged riffing throwing down in the finest Nile fashion, breaking apart into a nicely atmospheric lead guitar before regrouping the attack and pressing it twice as hard, flowing nicely into the ominous start to Dethrone. It’s hard if not impossible to pick weaker moments, given the sheer intensity which flows through the likes of A Sterile Existence and the Neanderthal stomp of The Soulful Dead - the band’s songwriting skills are admirable.

If you’re used to this modern form of Brutal Death/post-Deathcore, then the seemingly similar approaches of bands like this may seem tiresome, but Degenerate is worth a listen despite that. There’s still plenty that stirs the blood – Death Metal bands capable of playing this fast used to be treasured and praised as the best of their kind, but now everyone can do it, the sheen is somewhat gone. Trigger The Bloodshed deserve to be at the head of these modern Death Metal bands after this, however, a great album that furrows its own powerful path and suggests that even better things are to come from the band, not to mention from the unpredictable gloop that is UKDM.

Killing Songs :
A Vision Showing Nothing, De-Breed, Dead Vein, Dethrone, A Sterile Existence
Goat quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Trigger The Bloodshed that we have reviewed:
Trigger The Bloodshed - The Great Depression reviewed by Goat and quoted 63 / 100
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