It’s been 2 years since Trudger’s debut 3-track EP Motionless in Dirt and those 2 years have been put to good use. The Barnsley sludge metallers have gone from down-tuned, relentless doom to a more atmospheric and blackened sound that still draws on elements from sludge and doom metal but these are now just smaller parts in a much more accomplished sound.
Trudger have returned with a 45 minute debut album called Dormiveglia (which is the state of being half-sleep, half-awake for those interested) and it’s an extremely dense and challenging listen that’s incredibly rewarding once you scratch the surface.
The band’s move away from slower, sludgier grooves has resulted in tracks like opener Into the Abysmal Future which is over 7 minutes but cracks along at a decent pace considering the running time. The track also relies heavier on melody than past Trudger material and it’s drenched in a thick, foreboding atmosphere that leaves an uneasy feeling in your stomach.
This tactic is employed for all of the albums 6 main songs. Despite the vocal delivery still drawing from sludge and death metal with Chris Parkinson favouring a lower-pitched grunt, Trudger have found a new comfort zone in making their music a far more textured affair. The progressive nature of the band’s music suits it incredibly well and riffs are rarely revisited. This means a frequently changing track like Become Joyless can contain around 10 great riffs.
Trudger also employ a couple of short instrumental interludes which are helpful little breaks from the band’s musical onslaught. What they really excel at is the way they manage to keep the music on Dormiveglia flowing, almost to the point where the album ends up sounding like one cohesive piece of music with many movements. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trudger originally wrote the record with this intention. It’s this structure that makes repeated listens of the album so rewarding as you uncover more melodies and riffs that stick with you long after the album has finished.
Special mention has to be given to guitarists Richard Matheson and Jack Kavanagh who carry all of the band’s melody and are extremely creative guitarists in their own right. The sheer number of riffs and leads these two men create is a staggering achievement but the fact they’re so expressive and memorable is a true testament to their skill. We’ve also got to mention the amazing guitar solo in Thickening Fog which adds another layer of complexity and intrigue to the band’s music and wonderfully compliments the crescendo the song builds to.
Trudger’s Dormiveglia is a thick, multi-layered experience that gets better every time you listen to it. The band has grown tremendously since their debut EP and the song writing on Dormiveglia is absolutely top tier. This might be a challenging listen for heavy music fans and the band’s raucous fusion of sludge, doom, death and black metal might make for a bleak experience, but it’s one of the best bleak experiences you’re going to have for a while. Buy this record, light some candles and get moody.
Trudger’s Dormiveglia is out now on 12″ blue vinyl through Church of Fuck.