BY DREW LACOUTURE
London Instrumental Band Three Trapped Tigers return with a slight advancement in their tight and creative sound with “Silent Earthling.”
Combining metal guitar with the synthetic drums and heavy synthesizes of electronic music, TTT still sounds excited to make music. However, with a world of musical possibilities they could embody, they play it relatively safe on this record.
This is not to say a reinvention was required of them. After all, their debut “Route One or Die” and follow up “Numbers 1-13” were solid progressive rock albums where the listener never knew whether they were going to become darker or brighter, allowing TTT to have an off-kilter nature to them.
This quality has not entirely dissipated from their music, with at least three major transitions occurring in each song. Unfortunately their formula becomes stale rather fast.
The First movement introduces the concept of the song and crescendos into the second movement where more instrumentation is added and a possible a style change which then leads into the third movement when the songs slows down and then picks up for a finally.
Nowhere is this more evident on the track “Endgames” where the production also suffers. During a lot of sections, the instrumentation is not balanced and caters towards one member or the other during each section.
There is also a heavier emphasis on Tom Rogerson’s synthesizers especially on “Hemisphere” and the closer “Everywhere.” Plus, his anonymous and long winded chants are not necessary for a talented instrumental band like this. Luckily Matt Calvert gets to shine with some s nice solo and several head-bobbing riffs on “Kraken” and “Strebeck.”
The record might be exhausting for some but luckily the opening “Silent Earthling” is a solid intro and a great track to introduce a new listener to the band for it shows every member’s strengths.
“Tekkers” is another balanced and cohesive track that actually switches up the TTT formula and the synthesized bass-lines on this track are the perfect amount of groove for an electronic song but the drive of a rock song.
The highlight is easily the bright “Blimp” which sounds like A Scale The Summit song except with synthesizers. While it does follow the TTT formula, its catchy melodies make it excusable. It just feels more epic and grand then the other tracks here. This might be because of the Animals As Leaders influence on the track.
If there is one member who deserves to be commended the most, it is Adam Betts on drums. Not only do the electronic drums sound more authentic, but he is simply relentless behind the skit. He completely makes the track “Rainbow Road” with his quick syncopated rhythms and fills that will challenge up and coming progressive drummers for years to come.
“Silent Earthling” may be difficult to return to because of its predictable song structure and tiring improvisation. Just the concept of combining electronics with metal music might be a hard pill to swallow.
However all flaws aside, the pros slightly overcome the cons, leaving fans with decent record. Hopefully though, Three Trapped Tigers will bring some more risks to the table next time around.
The Flyer gives Three Trapped Tigers’ “Silent Earthing” a 6/10.