Trounce is alive.
Created by Jonathan Nido (Coilguns) following a request from the Roadburn Festival, the man will compose a unique set with accents in the company of musicians from his label, Humus Records: Luc Hess (drums, Coilguns, Louis Jucker, Closet Disco Queen), Renaud Meichtry (vocals, ex-Kruger), Léa Martinez (moog/vocals, Svarts, Etienne Machine), Naser Ardelean (guitar, Yrre) and Anna Sauter (samples, Yrre, Dubuk), as well as Kevin Galland (sound) and Guillaume Ducommun (lighs).
Following this concert, the musician decided, with the help of Axel Vuille (drums), to record The Seven Crowns, his first album, which also contains the live recording.
The studio album opens with The Seven Sleepers, a composition in which intense clean vocals meet a frantic but jerky rhythm that borrows as much from Black Metal as from way heavier and more unleashed Post elements. The vocalist allows himself a few eruptions of fury while riffs become more complex, then Faith, Hope, Love offers slower, more stunned parts between two lively charges, allowing himself as many Old School elements as disconcerting harmonics. The pressure comes down again with Stones, a shorter dissonant track that lets the musicians feed the suffocating atmosphere before letting drums release their blast while heaviness takes its place again, leading us to Codex and its catchy patterns, above which the ominous vocals still rage. Leads bring an airy touch to a very heavy basis that only ceases to let The Goose and the Swan take its place, anchoring itself in raw Black Metal, only softened by the impressive vocals, then by the lead part before an equally aggressive final. Dark dissonance resurfaces with the unpredictable The Crippled Saint, which lets drums take the lead again while guitars tend to their own task, but the track seems to pass in a flash, offering Silene the chance to crush us with its groovy yet heavy riffs. The vocal parts are also more diversified, allowing a few howls to pierce the dark veil, while it’s back in the cold tones that Death of the Good Men begins, while in turn incorporating some more airy worked parts, like those piercing harmonics. The band adopts a more moderate pace with The Circus, which gradually progresses until thick saturation returns to create a unifying march before Walls once again drowns us in blast, accompanied by jerky riffs, tortured vocal parts and unhealthy harmonics, then The Wheel closes this first chapter with a mix of frantic riffs, expressive vocals and those few spikes of madness.
Although containing nine of the eleven tracks on the album, the live part is quite different. The order of the tracks is different at first, and the performance is preceded by a long heavy track before the musicians begin their service, strengthened by several voices and a few noisy elements perfectly fit with the band’s impressive suffocating approach. Interspersed with applause, the tracks naturally flow, and the mix is a perfect tribute to the flood of controlled violence, which occasionally calms down with a few ambient guitars. It’s worth noting that Codex was originally called Codex Unsealed, and offered a much more progressive dimension, and that Many Waters Cannot Drown Love lets the audience breathe before surrendering once again to the crushing madness. After a break, the show ended with Walls, which undoubtedly offers a much more majestic and captivating sound, followed by a well-deserved round of applause.
Born of a unique creation, Trounce first won over an audience of connoisseurs at Roadburn before making its mark in the studio. While the album is indeed a little more streamlined, the two aspects of The Seven Crowns are as complementary as essential.