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Trouble : Manic Frustration

Along with Candlemass, Trouble is considered to be one of the two main pillars of post-70’s doom metal. With all due respect to bands like Saint Vitus or The Obsessed who were cranking out tunes in the early 80’s, but they were relatively unknown outside the underground metal world. In that decade Trouble released a string of albums that now are considered classics from fans of that era. Nevertheless, somehow in the road the band started to lose its leading spot as the front runners of doom and started to fade from the mainstream. Personally, I think that was the best thing that happened to them, because in the process the band felt free to experiment and release albums like 'Trouble' that I consider to be the first modern sounding doom metal album. Another example is with 1994's 'Plastic Green Head', which is in my opinion the first true stoner metal album. Between those two releases the band released a lesser known album, 'Manic Frustration'. Here you'll find heavy riffs, infectious hooks, and crushing rhythm section, which is synonymous with the classic Trouble sound. But with the crisp Rick Rubin production, it also unveils a profound respect to bands like Blue Cheer, Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Mountain. 'Manic Frustration' is Trouble's homage to their childhood heroes - and what a tribute it is!

On this album the band sounds extremely inspired and energy and achieved an extremely daunting task of projecting their influences with a modern and personal point of view. Because of this, they prevent the band to fall into the trap of sterile copying of their influences; as too many bands these days end up doing. All songs are well written and produced, but my favorite is 'Memory’s Garden', the closing and melodic 'Breathe' and the live dynamite called 'Hello Strawberry Skies'. Unfortunately, like many great bands that signed onto a major label, despite rave reviews from the critics, the sales were not high enough and the band was quickly dropped from Def American. Trouble wouldn't put anything out till three years later when 'Plastic Green Head' came out [edit by admin.: This is only partially true as they also released an EP called 'One For The Road' inbetween, but it still remains quite unknown.], which continued to streamline their sound from Def American era. The band entered a period of semi-hiatus when singer Eric Wagner left, until 2004 when they reunited, started to do some live shows, and working on what would be 2007's Simple Mind Condition.

Trivia Fact: this album was selected as one of the Top 100 metal albums of the 1990's by the Greek edition of Metal Hammer.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Come Touch The Sky
2. 'Scuse Me
3. The Sleeper
4. Fear
5. Rain
6. Tragedy Man
7. Memory’s Garden
8. Manic Frustration
9. Hello Strawberry Skies
10. Mr. White
11. Breathe

Duration : Approx. 43 minutes.

Visit the Trouble bandpage.

Reviewed on 04-03-2009 by Dimitris Plastiras
Forever Autumn
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