Monday, July 18, 2011

Trillion Red - Two Tongues

Trillion Red
Two Tongues
Independent Release

Trillion Red is a two piece act comprising of vocalist/guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Patrick Brown and drummer Max Woodside, who hailing from San Francisco (California, U.S.) initially came together to collaborate on music back in 2009. Having spent the better part of a year piecing together songs, Trillion Red has finally unveiled their debut E.P. effort ‘Two Tongues’ into the underground metal scene.
Influenced by a diverse array of music from a variety of genres, the musical output of Trillion Red’s debut effort is every bit as hard to describe as you would expect, and even harder given that the band themselves have difficulty labelling themselves without being pigeonholed.
But if I was to summarise their sound, I would say that the four tracks that make up the pair’s release is best described as progressive/avant-garde metal with a distinct doom metal/gothic rock edge.
The opening track ‘No Visible Help (Hold Tight!)’ gives you an idea of what to expect from Trillion Red’s vast array of sounds and textures, with the guitars providing a strong groove throughout, the drums quite up-front in the mix, and Brown’s vocal presence giving the song a really experimental and bizarre feel with everything from tortured whispers, off keyed howls, some growls and straight forward melancholy clean sounding vocals packed into its five minutes. Despite the pair’s difficulty in determining the song’s true musical direction, ‘No Visible Help (Hold Tight!)’ is definitely a strong opening effort.
The schizophrenic piecing together of the two songs ‘Forging Two Tongues/A Reckoning’ into the one is a strange hybrid mix of extremities, with one half of the song taking on a depressive/half speed shoegazer vibe, while the other is a fast paced/blast beat filled Voivod approach to experimental rock. The move from one piece to another has a bit of a jarring feel at times, which makes it a difficult listen over the course of eight minutes. In other words, while it does have some good ideas, they don’t quite work seamlessly here like the pair had undoubtedly intended.
‘Right Over To The Helm’ is definitely an interesting effort with its laid back first half allowing Brown to showcase the diversity of his vocals, while the second half of the song allows the pair to push the song’s riff structures beyond the first half’s parameters in full on psychedelic/metallic rock mode.
The final track ‘Lullaby’ reminds me a bit of Candlemass bassist Leif Edling solo album ‘Songs Of Torment, Songs Of Joy’ (2008) with its doom overtones and spoken word vocals, and easily stands out as the highlight of the E.P.
Trillion Red’s debut effort, while having some real positives, also has a few negatives - namely the production and mixing, which is a little weak in places, and the overall song writing, which sometimes doesn’t quite flow on the first three tracks.
But despite its obvious negatives, ‘Two Tongues’ does at least point to some creative potential within Trillion Red which will hopefully reveal itself with the band’s promised return with a full-length follow-up release next year.

For more information on Trillion Red, check out - http://www.trillionred.com/

© Justin Donnelly