Final Breath – A Review of Twilight’s ‘Trident Death Rattle’

For those who somehow don’t know, Twilight was a collaborative project between some of the biggest names in USBM/great music in general. Counting at various times in their ridiculously talented ranks members of Leviathan, Krieg, Nachtmystium, Xasthur, Draugar, Isis, The Atlas Moth and Sonic Youth, together they created some of the most unique and unsettling black metal you’ll ever hear. I personally jammed the hell out of this project, so I’m extremely pleased that a new EP comprised of songs leftover from the recording sessions of 2012’s ‘III – Beneath Trident’s Tomb’ has arisen from the depths this very day.

Now, if you’ve even paid the slightest bit of attention to USBM in the last five or six years you’ll surely have heard of the absolute shitstorm around one of the members of this project. If you paid a little more attention you’ve probably read various delightful accusations, insults and recountings of woeful happenings between even more of the people involved. But enough keystrokes have been devoted to all that shit and if you really want to drool/jerk off over all the sordid details it’s all over the internet; given that one of said members is now operating the label releasing this and everyone else seems to be at least some vague semblance of cool/polite about it anyway, what really matters for the moment is this: New. Fucking. Twilight.

Well, new/old, but you catch my drift. Being from the same sessions (these are the tracks Blake Judd wrote before they were all pulled from the final album), new EP ‘Trident Death Rattle’ is unmistakably cut from the same deep textured cloth as ‘III’ yet ends up somehow even more experimental in nature.

‘This Road South’ kicks off in a bleak storm but is the most “standard” track of the bunch, a black blaster with great riffs that apparently would have been the opener to the album. Everything sounds ace, Wrest is as great behind the kit as ever and Neill ‘Imperial’ Jameson kills it on vocals, his harrowing howl is still one of the best in the game when he’s on point. Second piece ‘Weathered Flames’ is a raw stomper, probably the weakest of what’s on offer here but solid nevertheless, while the final track ‘No Consequence’ is where it really gets into it and is worth the price of admission alone. Heavy, dismayed, despondent and broken, the sound of a world collapsing in slow motion. You can really feel Thurston Moore‘s additional fingerprints on this track and some banjo even makes an appearance, courtesy of Scott Judd from Tangleweed. Easily the best of the three.

Overall, is it good? Yes. The tracks would have sounded great amongst the others that made the final cut, although for reasons well documented it’s probably understandable they were left off. As it is, the fact that they’re seeing the cold light of day now is good enough and an appropriate footnote for an extraordinary collaboration and event in USBM, the likes of which we may never see again.

Out today through Ascension Monuments Media, who incidentally have also been putting out some killer rarities and reissues from Leviathan, Othendara and Judas Iscariot alongside some well deserved fresh signings like Suicide Forest. Check them out.

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Purchase Twilight‘s ‘Trident Death Rattle’ on CD, vinyl, cassette and digital from Ascension Monuments Media here.

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