I was really impressed with Portland’s debut EP which eventually got released physically in this same label. Now with this next one, Troll have upped their game and entered the elite club of post civilisation doom. They have had many comparisons to Pallbearer, it’s clear to hear why, this is a step change to their earlier material in some ways, and hence, I was taken by surprise a little.
With 5 tracks and over 51 minutes of running time, you will need endurance. Although, the music has a quality that does not make you skip or fast forward, with the opening gambit ‘The Flight of the Dragonship’ laying the foundations of what is to follow. The slower sections coupled with the dreamy styled vocals remind me of Reverend Bizarre, whilst the mood and tempo shifts that occur later in the track take you to the earlier Pallbearer reference. There are two themed tracks, ‘Legend Master Books I and II’, subsequently finished as ‘Proverbs from Hell’ and ‘Three Evil Words’. Both have a similar stance, but I don’t really feel connected to both in unison. The track for me is ‘The Door’. It combines the elements that I have spoken of earlier with a marginal stoner feel, say to that of Sea of Green.
Overall, it is a quality release, an album you have to listen to in its entirety, and you cannot pick out a track and say yes I’ll have that, the complete package works best. Perhaps this an enigma, especially as I feel this is a great sounding release, however, I haven’t felt much connection to the songs. They are good for what they are, but I feel like an outsider.
(7/10 Paul Maddison)