Tyler Thurston – Vocals/guitar
Kaden Roholt – Bass
Connor Werling – Drums
As promised, we return to our friends in Tr3ason who are dropping their debut album(!), Infecting the Pure in February 2017. Needless to say, I immediately pre-ordered my copy and shirt based on singles “I, Machine” and “Memento Mori” alone. Definitely my kind of music! Originally discovering this destroy-all band when covering Utah in our State of the Art series (Tr3ason), I asked vocalist/guitarist Tyler Thurston for a review copy when they were finished recording it. Nothing lost, nothing gained. Costs nothing to ask, right? While I had his attention as he helped me with the article, he graciously agreed (Thanks brother!). Well, we now have it on hand and are just stunned by the wicked heaviness this thing brings to bear! F*ck me!
With deep Metal roots in bands like Children of Bodom, The Black Dahlia Murder, Lamb of God and Chimaira, Tr3ason takes Melodic Death Metal (stress being on “melodic”) in their own direction. While there are definitely unavoidable influences from all over the musical map here, Tr3ason has expertly developed a sound like no other. This is not some flat, “cookie cutter” band that just sounds like the rest of the crowd to be sure. What strikes me most is the brutal passion this trio just bleeds. You can almost taste the red, metallic sweetness. Don’t be surprised if you actually do taste blood either. You just need to turn down the volume, unclench your jaw and pick the shards of your own teeth out of your gums. Yes. Tr3ason is that brutal. This is some of the heaviest and hardest driving Metal I have heard in quite some time. It generates the same kind of hair-standing-on-end, bang your head into the wall, want to punch someone in the soul kind of feeling when first hearing “Cowboys From Hell” by Pantera, “The Life I Rember” by Once Human, “Obzen” by Meshuggah and “South of Heaven” by Slayer. If I had this in hand a couple of weeks earlier, Tr3ason would have landed on the Most Anticipated list and is already in contention for hitting my list of the best of 2017! Based on what we have heard so far, this year is going to be a Metal free-for-all!
Alright. You get the general gist of what Tr3ason have going on for them. On to Infecting the Pure. Like a scene out of American Werewolf in London, we are witness to a gut-wrenching chase and gruesome murder. Wonderful… How do you come down from Hell already? We are only thirty seconds in. With like theme, “Infecting the Pure” blasts forward like a silver slug shot by Sam or Dean Winchester. Blistering guitar leads surround a sinuous core of barbarous rhythms and hooks for days. This is huge sound by any measure. From a trio?!? WTF? The headache is real and we must move on! “I, Machine” was the song that snatched my attention when first searching for a Utah band back in November and remains my favorite song on the album. Not only is it wonderfully heavy but pays tribute to our armed service members. A few of us on the MN staff are prior service so these types of songs strike a nerve. This thing starts out quickly and builds to ungodly volume before being blown apart at the seams and slowing down into an almost djent intensity. Nasty changes in tempo and vicious lyrics barked out an intemperate rate pin the tension meter in the red on this track. Slowing down a hair, “Twisted Sick (All That I’m Not)” takes a disgusted and very sarcastic perspective of self-obsession. Having great flow and an overwhelming sense of harmony, this track also allows Connor to flex his drumming might and smoothly drive this heavy hitter faster or slower at will. Not to be left out, Kaden gets his turn to blast away in “Death Won’t Take Me”. Showcasing some of the most ridiculously good Death Metal bass lines anywhere, guitar leads are layered adroitly just on top to create a very organized and somewhat traditional feel. This is likely to be many listener’s favorite song on the album due to its familiar vibe. “Desdemona” follows this up in similar fashion, but backs off just a bit and provides a point/counterpoint that uses slight dissonance to keep the tension high. Interesting song writing here. “Free To Corrupt” takes laser aim at the nefarious government and population ignorance with the Tr3ason touch of sarcasm and ferocious sound. Pounding, djenty leads over steady rhythms create a sense of chaos that barely is held in check. Killer use of the music following lyrical intent! Being musically analogous to “Free To Corrupt”, “Divine Genocide” takes on organized religious corruption. With no gray area to be found, antipathy seethes throughout. Vocals over shuddering leads and rhythm define this song and make it another of the most notable tracks on the album. Riffy AF, “A Hate Called Love” passionately blast personal denial at the hands of love. Being polar opposites with equal emotional intensity, music and lyrical theme juxtapose both as they attract and switch poles. Hell. You don’t even feel the knife enter your gut on this one but feel it twist from start to finish. Disturbing stuff. Nine down, two to go. “Illusion of Power” turns the tables of “Free to Corrupt” and offers a threatening solution through a one on one, in your face revolt against unearned and unwanted control of one human being over another. Ultra-melodic, this song spits fire as we are bludgeoned with hammering rhythms and ominous leads. Just sick! They say that all good things must come to an end and “Memento Mori” leads us out of Infecting the Pure. Being the loftiest song on the album, this trio take a sharper tone, twist it and bring it crashing down a few inches into your skull. Constant changes, false stops and vile, gothic overtones that loop back to the first track make this song a perfect song to complete this fiendish debut. Ah, well. There is always a Dio-style pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if you look for such foolish things!
A young trio pulling off a debut this damned good is nothing short of spectacular and should not be ignored. These guys are the real deal and should be commanding a contract post haste! Great song writing, poignant and intelligent (albeit, many times, sarcastic) subject matter and a unique, brutally pleasing aura should give Tr3ason a pass to the A-List among Metalheads everywhere. Do yourself a favor and pick this beast up, knowing that you are supporting some of the best Metal around and assuring a bright future we can all enjoy!
Tracklist for Infecting the Pure:
“The Hunt (album intro)”
“Infecting the Pure”
“Twisted Sick (All That I’m Not)”
“Death Won’t Take Me”
“Free to Corrupt”
“A Hate Called Love”
“The Illusion of Power”