It’s interesting when you dive into the murky corners of Facebook Groups and see endless debates about how nothing of any musical value has been produced since the mid 1970’s, and how people say no-one is producing music of progressive intentions anymore. Now while I appreciate the classics and like delving back, it’s nice to get your lugs round some brand spanking new music by bands you’ve never heard of, (which is why I enjoy this reviewing lark, through this I’ve been introduced to bands like The Fierce And The Dead, Axiom, Southern Empire, all fine contemporary progressive bands), so when this one came up for grabs, the description of ‘London based psych prog’ piqued my interest and in I dove.
Blimey, I thought it would be right up my alley, and not only was it up my alley, it was in my front door and has taken up squatters rights , in less time that it would take for me discuss the big crunchy riffs on offer here.
From the striking artwork on the cover (as an aside, I find if a band takes care on the overall package, from the artwork, to the packaging, it shows an extra level of care, and I must admit I’ve bought albums based purely on their artwork before, conversely I’ve been put off albums by the shoddiness of the artwork) to the quality of the sound, Wolf is a mighty fine album from start to finish.
The intricate way the power trio work, with some stunning guitar work from Goncalo da Silva Nova brings to mind elements of heavier psych bands, I was reminded in part of bands like Earth and Black Mountain. That’s because they are operating in the same sonic arena, mixing heavy powerful riffs, intricate and mesmerising drum sequences, and sublime bass, for instance the haunting spaced out guitar solo that comes out of the ether on Move is a perfect lesson in less is more,
The opener Howlin’ really pulls you into the world of TrYangle, and you get lost in the music as it consumes your attention, so much so that you don’t realise it’s over 8 minutes long, yes it’s that good.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere previously that I’m a great believer in albums as albums, and music that you have to listen to, Wolf is one of those albums, an intelligently composed, well structured musical journey, this is not for background listening whilst you cook your tea, read your paper or polish your bagpipes. This is music that deserves your full attention, and, if you listened to it, like I did on my headphones on my commute, you get the subtle background riffs, the well written and observed lyrics, and the sheer innate musical sensibilities of TrYangle. These guys get it, and the shift in tone and mood throughout the album, whilst retaining it’s identity is superb.
At no point do you think you’re listening to another band, the way Always Shining opens up with the vocals acting as another instrument, and the glorious counterpoint to the guitar is wonderful to listen to.
The big meaty riff that opens A Grinding Throne Gathers No Moss is a real steamroller of sound that takes you with it, powerful bass of Nuno Mais, and those thundering almost Bonham/Paice drums of Maio Castro makes this real extreme power trio territory and is a pounding tour de force of sonic power, big riffs and subtle nuanced mood changes. A microcosm if you will of the bands power.
This is an album that is both contemporary, being very much 21st rock, and is also timeless, it has that musical quality that transcends genre and dating, and as an album grows on you with each listen, insinuating itself seamlessly into your subconscious until you find yourself humming sum of the riffs at your desk without even realising it.
The album is bookended by the two epics, and the journey ends on the sublime 7 minute plus Landslide, with another great vocal performance, and that wonderful drumming that underpins and is the bedrock of the whole album, whilst Da Silva Nova and Maio on both bass and guitar are such versatile and intelligent players, that they can let songs like this grow and build, the musical tension and way it grows and grows is fantastic, and it finishes the album off in style.
I am incredibly glad I took a punt on this album, because it’s the sort of music that if I’d heard round at a friends house, or seen live, would leave me with a great big daft grin on my face, and that is how I feel after listening to this.
TrYangle are a name to watch, as this album proves they get it, they know exactly what they are doing, making music as intense, beautiful, haunting and uncompromising as this indicates that as a band they know their music, they know each other and are aware of the power they have to take the audience with them on their unique musical journey.
01. Howlin’ (8:40)
02. The Dire (4:38)
03. Move (5:05)
04. No 11 (4.22)
05. Always Shining (6:15)
06. A Grinding Throne Gathers No Moss (5:35)
07. My Home (5:38)
08. All (4:46)
09. Blood-Hatred (5:29)
10. I.e (3:36)
11. Landslide (7:35)
Total Time – 61:39
Gonçalo da Silva Nova – Vocals, Guitar
Nuno Maio – Bass
Ricardo Maio Castro – Drums
Record Label: Independent
Country Of Origin: Portugal/U.K.
Date of Release: 1st January 2019