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“The Videos” by Trouble

Artist: Trouble
Title: “The Videos”
Label: Independant
Release Date:
Genre: Doom Metal
Rating: 3/5

If you were ever a fan of the legendary Doom Metal band Trouble then you will certainly enjoy some of the things that the band is releasing under their own power. This is a good thing for while we were able to enjoy remastered editions of “The Skull” and “Psalm 9” from their back catalog on their previous label Escapi Music, these particular items would have never seen the light of day had the band not opted to release them on their own. The band had a handful of videos which I recall being more underground than on the likes of MTV of the day when the network actually played such things and now thanks to being able to deliver such products on ones own dollar we have them all in one place to easily enjoy. Looking at them so many years after they were first recorded makes me smile a little because while great songs these were only ok in terms of the video that they did. There are many scenes with band members walking or standing around or on the stage but let’s face it, this was the kind of film that a Metal band did for the most part. There was no budget for bands of this type to be on jet skis or boats like we found the guys in Duran Duran doing in their own clips. I will say that the films are quite clear and the sound was on target and this made me feel that they would appeal to those who have had them on video tapes for a couple of decades. Listening to the tracks as these films played out made me go back in time to when the Doom Metal genre was starting to pick up steam amidst all the Hair Metal that was going on. Bands like Trouble were offering up a nice heavy take on things and crushing the listener with riffs as opposed to teasing their hair and singing about getting drunk. It was a welcome difference for those who were longing for something heavy to take place again. Trouble was definitely a band that was bringing a lot to the listener during these years.
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Trouble @ B.B. King Blues Club (3/25/2007)

Trouble is one of the more awesome Doom Metal bands out there and their recent return to action and re-issue of their classic albums made being at this show something we must do. The event featured most of the bands original lineup and would take place at B.B. King Blues Club. If you would like to see more thoughts and images from the show just scroll past the logo below.

Logo - Trouble

Artist: Trouble
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: unsigned local band
Date: 3/25/2007
Label: Escapi Music

The appearance of Trouble at B.B. King Blues Club was a show that I was looking forward to from the moment that it had first been announced. Yes, I admit that I cover a lot of great shows at this place but this was going to be one of those events that throws you back in time to the “Old School”, now often referred to as “Traditional”. If you only heard their name and not the music, let me inform you that Trouble was an American “Doom Metal” band that was playing a style very similar to that of Black Sabbath, and during a time when there was not much of this genre to speak of. “Hair Metal” and “Glam Rock” were the reigning kings of the video Metal outlets of the day and Trouble was a band that simply did not fit among their number. Late 2006 saw the re-issue and remaster of the band’s first two releases “Psalm 9” (which was originally called “Trouble”) and the masterpiece “The Skull” (1984 and 1985 respectively) on Escapi Music. They would come with enhanced packaging and bonus DVD’s that would present footage unavailable anywhere else. It is a dose of the pure and heavy roots that Metal draws its breath from and for all who attended this was going to be a good time.
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“Psalm 9” (remaster) by Trouble

Artist: Trouble
Title: “Psalm 9” (remaster)
Label: Escapi Music
Release Date: 10/24/2006
Genre: Stoner/Doom Metal
Rating: 4/5

Escapi Music has been doing right by the fans of Traditional Metal and Hard Rock by re-issuing and remastering several bands whose work truly had levels of impact that are still felt to this very day. They began with the Warrior Soul catalog and now they continue the process with Doom Metal masters Trouble. As anyone who was a fan of the band will tell you, Trouble’s debut was a Doom Metal lovers delight. It’s an album that brings you back to the early days of the genre when it was simply referred to as Heavy Metal. Trouble was always very heavy on the Black Sabbath style and so much of that riffing comes out in their songs with the added double guitar assault Wartell and Franklin. It was a great sounding band and they were truly different from the other kinds of music that was being offered in 1984. While some bands were going “Round And Round” and others suggested you “Jump”, Trouble instead stressed that “Bastards Will Pay”. Lyrically there was a very heavy Christian theme to the songs as Wagner sang about righteous vengeance and retribution. Religious to a degree but hardly the Bible tossing Stryper who sang more about Salvation. Trouble was more serious with their themes noting that screwing up meant eternal damnation. It was Wagner’s Catholic upbringing that led him to focus his creative writing energy to this model since so many of the other bands were praising the dark powers and evil happenings. For example 1984 was the year Celtic Frost gave the world “Morbid Tales” while Mercyful Fate dished out their classic “Don’t Break The Oath”. Their Doom aspect worked very well with the fire and brimstone messages and despite them the band showed that there is a light at the end of the sad tunnel with the track “Psalm 9”. This release was originally simply titled “Trouble” but in 1990 when they wanted to use it again, this was renamed “Psalm 9”. The emerging popularity in the Doom genre by bands such as Pentagram and Witchcraft proves the merit in the return of one of the styles founders. It sounds as fresh as it did originally and it’s as heavy as sludge throughout. Good Metal is timeless in my opinion. This remastered edition includes a DVD of early footage and bonus photos. In 2006 Trouble has reunited and the recording of a new album is set for early 2007.
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“The Skull” (remaster) by Trouble

Artist: Trouble
Title: “The Skull” (remaster)
Label: Escapi Music
Release Date: 10/24/2006
Genre: Stoner/Doom Metal
Rating: 5/5

If you were following the trends in Heavy Metal around 1985 you would remember that much of the youth population was a fan of the stuff and lines were clearly divided between either Hair Metal Glam of Hollywood or the growing Thrash Metal genre from the Bay Area. You did not like one style and the other but instead had a genre of preference. Since this choice had such lines one would hardly expect a bleak and sludge-laden Doom group to find much acceptance or even fans for that matter. Yet despite this division, Trouble managed to do so. The band debuted their brand of strong Sabbath influenced Metal with Psalm 9 just over a year previous to this release and The Skull would continue their quest. The release was darker and more brooding than the first album and the adopted heavy undertones of Black Sabbath worked well for a band when no one else was doing this kind of sound. They also fully utilized the contributions of a twin-lead guitar attack and this allowed the recording to surpass its predecessor tenfold. The themes of Christian vengeance and oppression led to the band suffering a little under that label, but this was hardly the Born Again preaching of bands like Stryper. Eric Wagner’s Catholic upbringing would lead him to this lyrical path as opposed to being just another group who sang songs about Satan and his minions. The prominence of these themes is showcased best on “The Wish” (the albums epic 11 minute number) as well as “Pray For The Dead” and “The Skull” (which has moments that seem to be written from the point of view of Christ himself). The Doom style was limited at the time but it would eventually find a stronger footing with bands like Cathedral, Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride, each of them would owe some credit to Trouble for daring to venture into this style with so much a different scene at hand. It was a great idea to remaster these recordings as the Doom and Stoner genre has blossomed greatly since that time and this now allows new generations of fans to enjoy a band who did it early on and were excellent at it as well. Musically, the remaster holds up well and comes to life once again at proper volumes with the guitars of Wartell and Franklin shining through the dark and booming drumming of Olson. It’s packaged in a slipcase with lyrics and photos along with liner notes from Metal Historian Martin Popoff. If that wasn’t enough, to make sure you get your moneys worth there is also a live DVD that was filmed in 1984 from one of the bands concerts.
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