Legendary doom act Trouble went through a much publicized split with original vocalist Eric Wagner some years ago, and after a brief spell with ex-Warrior Soul singer Kory Clarke fronting the band, they have settled on former Exhorder belter Kyle Thomas for their latest release The Distortion Field. Now, Thomas is a fine singer, possessing a voice that's a bluesy growl not unlike Russell Allen of Symphony X & Adrenaline Mob fame, and he proves to be a formidable force at the helm of the Trouble machine. The problem is, this band was always known for their behemoth doom riffs as well as the powerful lungs of Wagner, and here, Thomas seems to overshadow his bandmates, and at the same time the music has become more hard rock & bluesy metal flavored in order to make room for those vocals. For longtime fans, I'm not sure how well this is going to sit.
That's not to say that there aren't plenty of meaty & heavy tracks here, which there certainly are. "When the Sky Comes Down", "One Life", and "Hunters of Doom" have that classic Trouble stomp to them, and "Glass of Lies" rumbles and tumbles along with plentiful crunch that you know instantly is no other band but Trouble. But, "The Broken Has Spoken", "Sink or Swim", "Have I Told You", and "Butterflies" have a sort of Crowbar/Down/Lynyrd Skynyrd thing going on that, while good, really takes this band into areas that are sure to shock many. "Sucker" is another one, a real groove laden heavy hitter with Down meets Lamb of God styled riffs and Thomas' throaty, bluesy roar taking the band anywhere but doom avenues. However, there is plenty of gloom on the awesome "The Greying Chill of Autumn", and "Your Reflection" is a swamp drenched, Sabbath inspired slice of Southern stoner/doom that is sure to get heads banging and air guitars fired up.
As a classic sounding Trouble album, nobody is going to mistake The Distortion Field for Psalm 9, The Skull, or Run to the Light, and not much of what's on display here can be considered real 'doom metal', but in its own right, this is actually a very solid heavy rock affair. Guitarists Rick Wartell & Bruce Franklin, have, as always, dialed up a wealth of molten riffs & solos, which, though perhaps more in a hard rock & stoner vein, still pack plenty of punch. My suggestion is, if you are a fan, give this one a try before casting it off.
1. When the Sky Comes Down (5:43)
2. Paranoid Conspiracy (4:06)
3. The Broken Has Spoken (4:12)
4. Sink or Swim (5:55)
5. One Life (6:13)
6. Have I Told You (4:36)
7. Hunters of Doom (4:24)
8. Glass of Lies (5:04)
9. Butterflies (4:52)
10. Sucker (3:43)
11. The Greying Chill of Autumn (5:21)
12. Bleeding Alone (1:35)
13. Your Reflection (5:47)