Year : 2011
Genre : Groove Metal
Label : Sonic Blast Media
Origin : Latvia
Rating : 8.5 / 10
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This Latvian groove metal formation with the name "Trendkill Method" either tries to hide its immense Pantera influence without all that much noticeable avail, or embraces it instead by admitting it in a perplexedly violent and super-submissive fashion. Wait, wait, wait - you don't get it, man! The cover art of this release has a buzzsaw-wrapped female body with an ear as a head, man, surely, I MUST love THIS?!
Granted. Coming to think of it, it really does not matter that much at all, because, apart from the pretty damn close to z-grade exploitation - nevertheless, as noted, also pretty damn efficient - cover art Affective Arousal initially punishes you with, the music of Trendkill Method - regardless of its shape, its orientation and its mass density - kicks your ass to hell and back, and that is sufficient.
Affective Arousal is a record that uses the intrinsic worship of the groove to bring you rampant energies unalloyed, showing zero regard to the recent and - in my opinion - misplaced "tradition" of incorporating melodrama on occasion, so an acceptable pair of grooves could affect you again upon comeback. Once the grooves you offer are great and pack the legit bite, there is little if any need to deliver profound intermissions between them.
The main attraction on Trendkill Method's latest is the vulgar display of love for the rumble, and hell, that is all you want from groove metal at the first place. The primordial factors that give Affective Arousal's rendition of the rumble all the chance in the world to convince you to give a head to bang, are the brute elegance of the grooves, paired up with the rhythmic intricacy they come to thrash you into the wall with. Keen and exigent sense to respect, to summon and to properly worship the infinite faces of the aggressive groove is on constant display here, seeking AND finding the equally infinite faces of the rumble the groove expresses its ultimate nature through. There is no doubt at all that the favorite fixation of the release is the lowest possible note that is producible by the stringed instruments, but one must ask : if it sounds good, then who gives a sear shit if it is?
Structurally, the compositions are consisting of organically connected elements of high octane rampancy, each having their own agenda and rhythmic flavor, yet always keeping their sober touch with the surrounding components to follow them up. Melodic choruses that flatter the feel of stoner rock and well presented metalcore, - aua - are offered, as well. Luckily enough, these choruses tend to manage to entertain the ears with legit musical stimuli, as the singed melodies look pretty muscular on the cleverly structured wall of sound chords that hurry to back those up on these occasions. As such, these melodic sequences do find a way to emerge both as accessible and dignified. Just to give an example : the track called "Reason to hate" has one of the most relevant melodic choruses this release has to state, one that seems to be similar in nature to the chorus of Stone Sour's "Mission Statement". Both of these hooks are great, yet they feed from the same musical scape, a scape not easily expressed if the attempter has zero access to it. Casting an evident light on this scape is a great accomplishment on its own.
Trendkill Method's vocalist surely has the Philip Anselmo going on, yet, this time around, the imitation is acceptable, because the scream register has just the right amount of rawness and presence associated to it, and it sits in the mix in a very well researched place. The aforementioned melodic sequences with clean vocals are equally tight, ultimately. The singer, though clearly lacking the display-worthy animal of a Corey Taylor, does a decent job at delivering the melodies with dignity, humanity and badasness, and it is very respectable that the band decided to refrain from the use of various magical effects to pump up the voice artificially.
Affective Arousal is a delivery even the members of Pantera would probably give the nod on, and this is not something you could frequently say and keep an inner face intact. If you know what is good for your neighbor's spiritual integrity, give this album a spin. And one more. And one more.
Rating : 8.5 / 10
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