Sunday, June 15, 2008

I Hate The Devil, The Devil Hates Me

Travail is a Texas Nu-metal band with strong Christian leanings. They play a groove oriented style of metal-core (or groove-core) akin to secular bands Korn and less rappy Limp Bizkit. It's solid down-tuned metal with some crushing riffs and soothing funky rhythms.

Travail are often categorized in the rap-core genre and though some of the mellow parts reflect some hip-hop rhythms (akin to Anthrax' joint effort with Public Enemy) the vocals never rapped, but stick to a pained growl or style like Korn's Jonathan Davis or even Mike Patton to a lesser extent and not as chaotically versatile.

Travail only released a couple albums of which I only own one. "Beautiful Loneliness" is essentially a re-recording of their self-tilted album with a few extra songs. I managed to secure a copy of "Beautiful Loneliness" from my favourite source for hard hitting Christian music, Blastbeats.

I got hooked on Travail years ago when I downloaded a few tracks and spent ages trying to get an album (I still want to get their split album with Luti-Kriss). Anywho, "Beautiful Loneliness" opens with one of my favourite tracks "And So I was Thinking" which is versatile vocally and musically switching between grooving rhythms, crushing riffs and a metaphorical philosophising.

"Devastated" and "Darkness" are similar in style with groove-oriented rhythms and heavy riffs. The vocals mix well between almost spoken and spitting growls. "Lies" adds a reflective feel to the quieter bits while not loosing any brutality.

"Weakling", "Dead", "Beaten" and "When I Fall" are all fairly standard in their approach as metal-core songs and are straight forward and heavy, leaning toward Living Sacrifice and Gryp in style. Competent songs, but not necessarily memorable.

"A Song For A Friend" keeps the groove, but adds more tempo variety giving the song an aggressive approach all the while staying funky. "Judge Me" 's bone-crushing riffs are almost thrashy at times without sounding out of place amongst the metal-core. The album closer "Return" is a little speedier and a bit more chaotic and nice heavy breakdown with the closest thing to rappy vocals and at that only minimally.

"Her" and "Opposition" are slow groove-oriented songs that are darkly smooth and mildly hypnotic. Very catchy adding milder breaks to a pretty heavy album. There is also a hidden track which is a crushing rendition of "I Hate The Devil, The Devil Hates Me" which was one of their more popular tunes live.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable album with a number of great songs. Travail had a nice style and blended metal with groove rhythms with expert ability. I would have liked to see where this band could have taken this style.

Coming up next week, metal-core band Mindrage.


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