Trivax – Eloah Burns Out
Cult Never Dies
Release Date: 29/09/23
Running Time: 49:10
Review by Laura Barnes
Most of the time, I try to keep these reviews professional. I like to throw on a cloak of objectivity in an attempt to hide the rabid Beavis and Butthead energies that reside inside me. Today, however, this rationalism is not possible. Today, Trivax have fucking floored me.
“Eloah Burns Out” is only the trio’s second release, but their identity is already strong. They have dubbed their unique fusion of Black and Death Metal ‘Eastern Death Magick’ in a nod to vocalist Shayan’s Iranian identity and bassist Sultan’s Syrian identity. Before relocating to the UK, Shayan began the project in Iran, where oppressive music laws put practitioners at risk of imprisonment or death. Consequently, Trivax play their music with a mission in mind: “total freedom and liberation”, in their own words. I am here to tell you that on this album, freedom is embedded in every riff, every growl, every drum beat.
We start with ‘Ezraeel’. It’s Death Metal with a bouncing beat. It’s heavy enough to rip your fucking face off, but has melodies that know how to haunt. The hairs on your arms will raise as you chant, “Hail! Master! Death!” along with Shayan. The ever-raging kvlt of it all continues with ‘Alpha Predator’, a track that embraces evil like a well-fitting nightgown. Having been blessed by history’s first murderer (“Mighty Cain, bless my hands!”), Trivax use this blessing to go somewhere deeper and colder. ‘Silent Contemplation’ is an (almost) instrumental track that depicts a profound loneliness and sorrow. The only words spoken over those 3 minutes are a reminder never to forget, and never to forgive. Wildcard comparison incoming, but this kind of reminded me of The Dresden Dolls’ ‘672’, a track that uses a single sentence and absolutely terrifying instrumentals to tell us a tiny part of what is certainly a bigger story. ‘Silent Contemplation’ does something similar – it doesn’t tell us exactly what occurred, but we do know it was bad.
‘The Serpent’s Gaze’ is another highlight. At nine minutes long, it’s as epic as it is biblical, as sombre as it is hateful. Exhalting the snake, this song subverts traditional religious depictions of evil, and will no doubt speak to anybody who has been made to feel like their existence is Wrong, only to learn how to embrace that Wrongness later in life. Similarly to ‘Silent Contemplation’, ‘Memento Mori’ marks a quiter moment on this album’s journey with echoing clean vocals and muffled guitars, before final tracks ‘Twilight of Death’ and ‘ در آخر دنی’ go on to really steal the fucking show. ‘Twilight of Death’ is a fascinating song that is soul-wrenching, life-affirming and demonic all at once. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of glory and doom, of a life lived and lost, and it’s a picture that pairs well with the subtle melodies that are embedded throughout. ‘ در آخر دنی ‘ meanwhile is a guitar-led track which I would consider a masterpiece of progressive metal. Anyone who’s ever shed a tear at Death’s ‘Voice of the Soul’ would be profoundly moved by this song. Shayan’s vocals are absolutely unholy here as he howls, wails, grumbles and croons his way through this 11 minute epic. Add in the fact that ‘ در آخر دنی ‘ is written and sang in Farsi and features guitars that were re-amped in Tehran, and you have a deeply personal piece of music that demonstrates the power of sharing our stories and emotions.
As I draw this review to a close, I’m aware that I may have wandered into the realm of melodrama, but I had no choice. There is simply no other way to describe just how fucking glorious this album is. The moment this album came to a close, I hopped straight onto their Bandcamp merch page in order to bestow upon Trivax the greatest honour I could possibly give them: a place on my battlejacket.
02. Alpha Predator
03. Silent Contemptlation
04. The Serpent’s Gaze
05. Against All Opposition (By Aeshma’s Wrath)
06. Memento Mori
07. Twilight of Death
08 در آخر دنی
Shayan – Guitars, Lead Vocals, Saaz, Percussions
Sultan – Bass, Backing Vocals
Matt Croton – Drums