Trenches – The Tide Will Swallow Us Whole

Band: Trenches
Album: The Tide Will Swallow Us Whole
Genre: Metal
Label: Solid State

1. Pathways
2. Sacrament
3. Calling
4. Eyes Open
5. Trip The Landmine
6. Bittersweet
7. Call It Correct
8. End
9. Ocean Currents
10. Cornered
Jimmy Ryan changed my life. That’s a one hundred percent factual statement and I’ll tell you why right now. My first exposure to hardcore/metal as we see it today was a midnight and showcase at Cornerstone where his old band Haste The Day was paying their song, “The Closest Thing To Closure.” From the time I entered that tent, I was completely enamored with the sound of his voice and the music in general. After he left the band, I was a bit put off by their new material and I have always missed the sound of his vocals and the lyrical style he brought to the scene. So, needless to say, I was more than pumped when I heard about him have a new band called Trenches. I never new if we’ work with them, but I knew I would be diving into the band regardless. Then, recently, Jimmy himself [now employed by Solid State] sent me the band’s debut release and let me tell you this from the get go: The only way to define this album is with one word – epic.

Now generally on UTG, I’m the one who really tears albums apart song by song and talks on end about miniscule moments in various tracks that make or break that one song. However, this album plays more like Ryan and crew’s sonnet and is to be taken, in my opinion, as one large song broken into chunks. So, with that idea in mind, I’m simply going to discuss the entire work as a whole. for starters, the sound is on a scale all its own. It’s not super technical constantly [like Between The Buried and Me], but it’s also not simple. There are so many layers, both vocally and instrumentally that you honestly become engulfed in sound waves. This is only aided by production that goes through the roof and stay there throughout the disc. I mean, I thought the new Underoath had the best production, but I was completely wrong. This is, based on production alone, the best sounding record of the past 2 years. For the amount of things on the disc itself, its amazing how perfectly leveled everything remains.

Ok, after so much talk, I should probably actually dive into certain tracks. “Pathways,” the opener, really sets the tone for the disc. Near half the song passes before a single vocal comes in, but with a building structure starting with only drums, to a guitar solo before the lead vocals, you hardly notice time pass. Ryan’s singing and screaming have only improved with time and feel more full and fleshed out than before. Not at any point does the music itself take a back seat tough as it it is always pulsing right above and below Ryan whose immersed in the layers instead of riding the top like most bands. “Calling,” hits like a ton of bricks to your face with gang screams and down tuned guitars which are greeted with soothing choir type sounds. I honestly think it’s tracks like this that let you know this band is onto something all their own as I’ve never heard anything like this record. It will take you to listens just to hear all the elements. A solid example of this can be found on, “Trip The Landmine,” which has so many vocal layers that you need headphones just to begin to dissect everything. Likewise, “End,” which is a bit more vocal heavy, has lyrics you need to head [though I won’t give them away] and music you will want to submerge yourself with. It all truly comes to a head with the thirteen and a half minute closer, “Cornered.” This is the kind of track that dies down near the end and allows you to just sit and try to comprehend what you’ve just partaken in hearing. Trust me, you’ll need the minutes of synth at the end because you will be unable to move after what Ryan and crew have developed for us all to hear.

From gut wrenching screams, to soaring vocals, to amazing song structures and staggering guitar solos, Trenches is the kind of band that will save modern day metal. The Tide Will Swallow Us Whole has the words “timeless album” written all over it. This record will change the way you look at the modern day music scene and completely sink into your bloodstream. I was happy just knowing Jimmy Ryan was back in the music scene because he was such an influence to me, but now it’s apparent that the entire industry needed him and his band. Trenches are about to change things for the better. Be prepared to be shaken to your core when this disc hits shelves because that’s exactly what this record can and will do. In fact, I’m still recovering a week later with no desire to return whatsoever. Thank you Trenches, thank you.

*Written By: James Shotwell*
GRADE: 9.5/10

James Shotwell
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