Trinacria
Travel Now Journey Infinitely

Trinacria started as a joint collaboration between Ivar Bjornson of Enslaved and the two members of Norweigan electronic/noisecore outfit Fe-Mail. Afterwards, the project grew, pulling in Arve and Grutle from Enslaved for an experimental blend of both bands’ sound. Given Enslaved‘s absolutely stellar output over the years, anything these guys are involved in is sure to be special. So what’s it sound like?

“Part I: Turn Away” pits tribal drumming against a repeated sequence of droning, crashing guitars. Thick, growled vocals – a deeper version of Grutle’s gargled rasp – join in as the storm builds, along with crackles of feedback and noise. The trance intensifies over its 9-minute running length, and can be summed up quite simply: Enslaved meets Neurosis. So far: intriguing.

“Part II: The Silence” is much less introspective, using a jagged, misshapen riff to form the main structure. Again, intrusive squiggles of feedback are used to gouge and fragment the repetition. The song becomes much more interesting when a slower strummed motif comes in, joined by chug and whispered vocals. Then, when a muted version of the original riff begins cycling beneath the other elements, “The Silence” becomes a track worthy of Enslaved‘s catalog. It wouldn’t be out of place on either Below the Lights or Monumension, and it’s my favorite track on the album. “Part III: Make No Mistake” also sounds like it could have come from those albums’ sessions – it’s frantic, savage black metal, although the feedback and noise continue to assert themselves over what would otherwise be a fine song without it.

So far, Fe-mail‘s contributions have been seemingly limited to these minor explosions of noise and feedback. Perhaps Trinacria is aiming for chaos and cacophony, but I find that the noise does nothing to enhance the songs, and only serves to pull you out of whatever groove or reverie they’ve managed to create. Then again, I’m not the biggest noisecore fan.

Fe-Mail does bring a lot more to the table with the title track, which I assume was the piece that started the entire project. Soft ambience builds into a richer post-rock expanse, with a French horn and angelic female vocals dueting in the background while Grutle’s rougher vocals rumble along overhead. It’s an interesting piece – the horns are the most notable touch – but it’s far from the most gorgeous or engaging piece of post-rock I’ve heard.

Ultimately, Travel Now Journey Infinitely is an interesting excursion, but nothing really all that mindblowing. I found the feedback and noise elements to be more distracting than anything else, and would have much rather preferred a gentler, more ethereal touch in their place. Perhaps if the experience were more expansive and trancelike, it’d feel like something special. As it is, the best tracks on here come off like Enslaved B-sides. That still makes it mandatory listening for Enslaved fans, and recommended for fans of experimental and black metal, but overall, I was expecting more from this.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
January 7th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Vance

    Hmmmm, this sounds very interesting, I pretty much worship anything those dudes in Enslaved release, so I am curious to check this out, thanks for the killer review.


  2. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Vance, it’s well worth your time. Very interesting musical concepts thrown about and Grutle switches his usual Enslaved sound for a far more gruff, deathmetal-ish approach. Just an example of the man’s versatility. Now if I could just get my hands on some Fe-Mail stuff, everything would be right with the world.

    Great review, man. It seems I enjoyed it a bit more than you, though.


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