Trouble's debut album did great things for Metal and remains one of the darkest, thrashiest Doom albums to date. A lot of things can change in six years, especially when you're talking Metal and the dates are 1984 and 1990. The decade may have changed them, but not in a way that suggests decay or a decline in the quality of their resolve or their skill as musicians and performers. On the contrary, Trouble's 1990 self-titled release is arguably their most mature, boasting a fleshed out sound with unparalleled songwriting, a great production, and the time-crafted vocals of Eric Wagner which had improved major in the years since their previous efforts.
All of this culminates in the most "complete" thing Trouble ever created. From the mid-paced chug of a killer opener in "At The End Of My Daze" to the last notes of "All Is Forgiven", there is no filler or anything resembling a weak link. The riffs here are some of the best ever written, by Trouble or anyone else; every song has a manically awesome main riff that demands a display of headbanging. Riffs are undoubtedly the point of focus here; they make the songs, and they're a timeless variety of great. Also, the interplay between guitarists Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell is some of the best lead work you will ever hear in Metal.
Trouble basically reinvented themselves with this release, and while it was a fantastic rebirth, those who aren't so keen on the laid-back stoner vibe they chose to adopt may not see it as a rejuvenation, but a step back (they did go from doom and gloom to collectively embracing their inner acid dropping free love hippie, after all). But the Metal remained fully intact!
This is originality and innovation at its best, it is supreme quality. A leader of bands paves the way and then steps aside to create something that will serve as an example of how to improve upon an established formula: that is, by doing it really damn well.
The Trouble LP came absolutely stacked with outstanding doom anthems in the shape of the mega-riffic 'At the End of My Daze,' the organ-infused 'The Wolf,' and the white metal staple 'Heaven on My Mind.' Meanwhile, the impossibly heavy and catchy 'R.I.P.' and the especially psychedelic 'Psychotic Reaction' (a hint of things to come) vied for supremacy as the greatest heavy metal song Black Sabbath never wrote. Then again, this honor might have just as easily been bestowed upon the band's mournful redirection of first album classic 'The Misery Shows (Act II)' or the majestic denouement of album closer 'All is Forgiven,' thanks to what is quite simply one of the greatest heavy metal riffs ever conceived. Embellished by extended guitar harmonies and solos, said riff also confirmed Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell's reputation as the best lead guitar tag team in doom metal history. The same championship belt might likewise have been Trouble's, were it not for the unfortunate condition of heavy metal (glam rock mania!) at the time this magnum opus was released, a tragic state of affairs that sadly relegated to obscurity what, by all rights, should have been a genre landmark.
- Vinyl LP
- 2020 Remaster
- At The End Of My Daze
- The Wolf
- Psychotic Reaction
- A Sinner's Fame
- The Misery Shows (Act II)
- Black Shapes Of Doom
- Heaven On My Mind
- All Is Forgiven