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Tridentifer - Under the Sign of the Trident - 94%

Edmund Sackbauer, September 27th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Independent (Limited edition)

Germany is full of top class yet widely unknown metal outfits so it does not come as surprise anymore whenever I discover another talented band. Tridentifer is a name I have seen mentioned a few times in some forums but I somehow never came around to check them out until recently. It seems that I have clearly missed out so far as band leader Marco Berger and his mates are a deadly force laying waste with their old school death metal sound.

The basis of the music is comprised of crushingly heavy riffing akin to the Swedish death metal classics. The main chords are colossal and the buzz-saw tone of the guitar helps to create a filthy and doom-soaked atmosphere. The lead guitar harmonies are cleverly implemented and offer hints of melody into an otherwise atonal framework. “Under the Sign of the Trident” is loaded to the brim with that kind of interplays between the crunchy trademark rhythms and the more fragile and often eerie lead harmonies.

While the trademark chords are nothing particularly new Marco is churning them out with so much energy that the album sounds totally fresh. There are some catchy harmonies lending the music a bit of a melodic death metal edge but overall the band sticks to more traditional role models like Grave or Asphyx. Blast-beats are also thrown in for good measure ramping up the intensity of certain sections but after such moments the groove is always returning. Crawling doom-like passages and even a few subtle symphonic samples have been implemented to ramp up the intensity even more.

Marco not only put a lot of emphasis on creating a thick and sometimes even slightly melancholic atmosphere but also on writing stringent and captivating songs. The songwriting is direct and straight-forward and can easily be enjoyed from the first spin onwards. That being said tempo changes and instrumental interludes are cleverly woven into the overall sound to keep the entertainment level high over the whole playing time. There are a lot of small details that can be discovered during consecutive listens.

The growling is also very strong and while the vocalist is roaring like a polar bear the lyrics can be perfectly understood. The production leaves nothing to be desired and can compete with records by more famous bands without a problem. The over artwork screams old school and if you are a fan of that style I cannot recommend this record highly enough. “Under the Sign of the Trident” will surely end up in my end of the year list.