EP review: A Trust Unclean – Parturition
Genre: Death metal / deathcore / groove metal
Release date: 2nd June, 2017
Record label: Basick
For those who may be unfamiliar, the word “parturition” is a synonym for the act of giving birth. As the title of the third EP by British tech-death metallers A Trust Unclean, then, the term is somewhat apropos. While Parturition is not exactly a “birth” in the purest sense for the band, it is undeniably a “rebirth”: not only because it is their first release in two years, but also due to it marking the debuts of the group’s new growl dispenser Kyle Lamb and drummer Noah Plant.
More to the point, however, it is also heavier than several mountains stacked atop one another. Mixing intricate death metal with powerful, Within the Ruins-esque deathcore and pummelling groove metal, the Parturition mini-album is a half-hour of undiluted, raw ferocity.
As an experience, despite the EP’s short running time, Parturition is a mentally exhausting trip, jam-packed as densely as possible with flurrying guitars, incendiary blast beats (which prove excellent at showing off the inalienable skills of newbie Plant) and a surprisingly varied vocal performance, especially considering there are no cleans to be found here.
Lamb’s singing usually takes one of two forms: either a more traditional, low-pitched growl or, at times, a more adventurous, higher wail, mimicking shrieks of disturbing agony. And given the tone of Parturition’s despondent, unyielding musicianship, such a delivery is beyond appropriate. Vocally, Kyle Lamb is a brilliant fit for A Trust Unclean and, with him at the helm, the band truly feels complete. He blends into the group’s sound so well that, if the listener were none the wiser, they would assume he had been a member for much longer than he actually has been.
Furthermore, as always, the instrumentation of Parturition is spellbinding. The rhythm section of Plant and bassist Bobby Hembrow crafts an intense pace that only the most hardened of metalheads will be able to wrap their minds around without their minds exploding, while dual rifflords Mikey Gee and Steven Hunt blaze their way through punishing rhythm guitar pieces and accelerated leads and solos with equal proficiency.
Hunt and Gee also serve to add touches of harmonies to the A Trust Unclean style here, peppering it in in the tiniest of amounts, such as the opening of “Apex” and the moments that follow the first verse of “Aeon”.
Truly, no member of A Trust Unclean drops the ball on Parturition, which is easily the strongest work of the band’s admittedly short career.
For some time, there has been speculation as to why the group are yet to release a true, full-length LP, and with the release of their third consecutive mini-album, the truth may be becoming clear. Whether it be intentional on the band’s part or not, A Trust Unclean’s music is definitely at its best when it’s contained into short, sharp jabs; everything about their technical death metal stylings is intense and ceaseless, aside from a handful of exempt moments, and the shorter, more regular EP’s prevent the listener from being totally overwhelmed.
While it is inevitable that A Trust Unclean will release their full debut album sooner rather than later, it is in a context such as the Parturition EP that the relentless quintet truly shines brightest.
Parturition gets 8 purple ant people out of 10.
Parturition will be available physically and digitally via Basick Records on 2nd June.