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Trephine: Trephine

Trephine are an instrumental four-piece band from Baltimore, MD, who deliver a very complex mix of progressive rock, fusion, metal, and math rock on their self-titled debut. The guitar work of Chuck Collins is thick and meaty, weaving a complex barrage of riffs over the wild rhythms of bassist Will Doane, drummer Don Baumer (who has since been replaced by Chris Meszler) and percussionist Dave Batovsky. Trephine in a way remind me of an instrumental version of Mastodon or The Dillinger Escape Plan, which for some might be a great selling point, especially if the extreme nature of the vocals of those two bands tend to scare you off. The music here has many stops and starts, twist and turns, led by Collins' metal riffs and linear lead lines. "Devil's Activist" is a crunchy & complex ripper, complete with galloping rhythms and wild riffs, while "Axolotyl" has tons of punk energy to go along with prog-rock mentality. The band throws around some jazz licks on 'Resident Advisor", gets a little doomy on "Adrenochrome", and blasts away with reckless abandon on the furious "Goes to Hell, Mr. Wiggles (Part Two)", the 9-minute closer. This band should be a blast to catch live, especially seeing how similar their music is to the style of Dysrhythmia, who are one smoking live band themselves. Trephine has already gigged with many known bands, so if you get a chance check them out live and pick this CD up while you are at it.

Track Listing
1) Goes to Hell, Mr. Wiggles (Part One)
2) Age of Reptiles
3) Metal Detector
4) Devils' Activist
5) Axolotyl
6) Resident Advisor
7) Adrenochrome
8) Goes to hell, Mr, Wiggles (Part Two)

Added: June 21st 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3601
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Trephine: Trephine
Posted by Brad Pingèl, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-06-21 10:09:10
My Score:

This is an album you are either going to love or hate, right from the first track. If you are into odd time riff oriented rock, yer going to love it. If you long for some basic structures (melody or vocals in your songs, you are going to be disappointed.

My take is that this is a fine collection of tastefully put together metal/prog tunes (and the jazz stuff is cool too). The production is top notch (which I am a stickler about in my reviews) and I really liked the playing of Collins and Baumer. Too bad for Trephine that the philosophy major Baumer shuffled off to the U of Washington to study linguistics (I do my homework): he is one fine drummer. Looking forward to hearing Chris Meszier live and on future recordings. Percussionist Batovsky is a neat addition to the overall metal sound. Very innovative.

My final thought is that though well written and performed, there is no real reward in the future for a band that plays in this context. Future recordings I hope strike a balance between rough starts and stops and melody. A voice in the midst might be helpful as well to propel Trephine to greater heights.

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