Power of Metal.dk Review

Trinity & Triage
Trinity & Triage
Style: Progressive Rock
Release date: 1 January, 2014
Playing time: 53:03

It’s a shame how often the progressive folk genre is overlooked, even by prog fans. Dark, surreal, and featuring music that is driven by healthy diversity, progressive folk is a truly fascinating genre. The newest example of this is the band Trinity & Triage, a female-fronted band full of quirk, atmosphere, and genius. Per a strong recommendation, I looked into their music, and was pleasantly surprised by both the music and the fact that the album is FREE on Bandcamp. Yes, that’s right, the album is free, so at least give it a chance.

Trinity & Triage have a unique style. If I had to compare them to anyone, I would call them a mix of Dead Can Dance with Mostly Autumn. That is only a surface comparison, however. The music is far more complex than that comparison gives it justice for being. On top of this, I feel an 80′s soft rock vibe in some of the tracks, as well. This lends a sense of familiarity to the hypnotic surroundings.

First and foremost in the music is vocalist Deanna Quijada. Indeed, she is part of what makes this self-titled debut so special. Her voice is rich, somewhat deep, and actually sort of unsettling. She is rather partial to brilliantly awkward vocal inflections, including yelping and howling, if you could call them that. Don’t let that scare you, though, as they fit well with the music and are very appropriate and classy. Deanna’s voice is certainly a highlight of the album, an aspect that I find I fall in love with more every time I hear it. Her performance of the sorrowful lyrics is both technically sound and completely convincing.

The music, then, is a perfect match for these quirky vocals. Ralph Feetham and Kevin Hartnell take care of all the guitars, bass, synth, drums, and percussive instruments. This is no technical fest, however, as the music is slow, well-paced, and rather simple. It’s simple, though, in a complex and surreal fashion. Drums keep the odd beat well, guitars create a contrast to the vocals, and synth is atmospheric, aside from some great synth lines present here and there. It’s an atmospheric album through and through, with wild ideas and a delicate touch. Indeed, much of the guitar is acoustic, and I find it to be very satisfying and perfectly performed. Many of the guitar lines are strangely upbeat, almost like a display of black humor. On the other hand, the electric guitars are used to great effect with soaring, blackened emotions and opiate dispositions. Indeed, they give me what I call “mind colors”, a frame of mind that feels bespeckled with splotches of color. This delicate, careful guitar work provides a perfect counterpart to the surreal vocals and melodies, and a sort of ying yang experience.

Trinity & Triage have crafted a debut album that is hypnotic, dreamlike, and completely fresh. Yes, it’s slow and subtle, but it’s also furiously sung, expertly played, and massively entertaining. Mind-bending at times, haunting in others, this album features moments of truly towering surrealism, such as on the track “Surreal”. So, from the more playful tone of “Surreal” and “Cathedral” to the fantastically executed “Scorn” (my favorite) and the subtle “All at Sea”, this debut album from Trinity & Triage is worthy of prog fans of all stripes.

01. Surreal
02. Cathedral
03. Synaptic Edge
04. Three Sisters
05. Carrion
06. We Won't Say Goodbye
07. Those Who Leave
08. Face of Love
09. Scorn
10. Rosebush, Leaf & Thorn
11. All at Sea
Label: Overlook Hotel Records
Distribution: Trinity @ Triage @ Bandcamp
Artwork rating: 85/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 1 March, 2014
Website: Trinity @ Triage @ Bandcamp