Formed by guitarist and vocalist Shayan, Trivax began life in Iran in the late 2000s, an unusual and potentially dangerous place to be a Metal musician, where the laws regarding music, especially Black Metal, have led to punishment, imprisonment and even death.
Trivax – Eloah Burns Out (Cult Never Dies)
Release Date: 29 September 2023
Words: Jools Green
Relocating to the UK, Shayan found a like-minded ally in bassist Sully, who had similarly left Syria after facing jail for his Metal associations, and they teamed up with British drummer Matt Croton.
Following up on their 2016 debut full-length SIN, the Eastern Black/Death “Magick practitioners” return with their second full-length Eloah Burns Out, and it’s a spectacularly commanding offering.
The band describe it as “A thunderous and rabid journey in Death’s exaltation, from all accounts of the killer, the dead and the creator. A heavily violent yet retrospective take on Black and Death Metal – Eastern Death Magick at its finest.”
Eloah Burns Out is an eight-track offering based on the concept of Death as observed and experienced through “various, different accounts” that spans a weighty forty-nine minutes duration. With several lengthy tracks to really immerse yourself in, it’s a hugely engaging, powerful and moving slab of Black Death Metal.
Opening on Azrael, an exaltation of the Angel of Death within Eastern theology/religions. With its haunting opening build and Middle Eastern flavour to the instrumentation, it is a powerful and hugely engaging piece that boasts starkly dramatic direction shifts. An ear-catching way to open an album.
Alpha Predator is the perspective of a murderer of all life, about which Trivax says, “As the album is themed around Death and its many different facets, Alpha Predator speaks from one of the most important accounts relating to death, which is the core perspective of the murderer. The apex killer, the terminator and the one who seeks to end all external traces of life because it is simply his purpose and destiny to do so.
“This song is a tapping to the shadow side, the primitive side of man and nature, which is something that exists within every single one of us. It is filled with a strong, confident, almost macho – yet harsh and bitter intent, true to the deepest and darkest parts of our very own nature. In the end, the song acknowledges the futility of it all, that we are hardwired to kill, only to someday reach our own mortality.”
It’s a driving beast of a track. Superbly phrased, with stunning mid-point leadwork, there is a dramatic second-half pace drop, then turning reflective but staying dark. Featuring J. Wilcox (Funeral Throne / Master’s Call) on backing vocals, overall, it packs a massive punch.
The next three tracks, Against All Opposition, Silent Contemplation, and The Serpent’s Gaze, are inspired by the emotions of rage and rebellion. Their common enemy is that of oppression and limitations, whilst their goal is total freedom and liberation.
The first, Silent Contemplation, is a reflective, largely instrumental acoustic guitar and haunting keyboard piece ending movingly on the phrase “never to forget – never to forgive.”
The Serpent’s Gaze is a powerful chugger. I love the riffs. They are brutal and engaging and a perfect complement to Shayan’s vocals. But you also get a subtly melodic undercurrent emerging in places, and the ebb, build, and overall phrasing are dramatically impactful. It also features additional vocals from Wraath (Darvaza, ex-One Tail One Head), adding dramatic depth and texture to the track.
Wraath makes a second appearance on the next piece, Against All Opposition, along with J. Wilcox and Russell Dobson, aka Naut (Necronautical/ Winterfylleth), adding backing vocals. Dark, hypnotic riffing and a roaring scream open this intense beast of a track. It boasts a superb burst of tremolo picking just before midway, dropping away dramatically, allowing for superb haunting choral style vocals to emerge, building to an intense zenith marked by a dramatic scream and squealing leadwork, dropping dramatically and brutally away to the close.
Memento Mori is a dark but beautiful piece. It’s eerie, haunting and hugely reflective, selectively sparse in content, with clean sung vocals as the driving force of the track, ending dramatically on a tolling bell.
The penultimate offering, Twilight Of Death, is a perspective of the dying self/individual and the ecstasy of such. I love the rolling black groove it opens on, which forms the core of the track. It is a catchy piece that boasts superb leadwork, with a well-placed drop in the second half where the bass lines briefly become dominant, rebuilding with an extensive swathe of haunting leadwork. A track that is as dramatic as it is engaging.
The final track در آخر دنیا (der aakhir dunia – At the end of the world), reflects on the death of God, which is in metaphysical alignment with the sun imploding on itself and thus causing the end of all life in our solar system.
The lyrics are written in Shayan’s native language of Farsi, which relates to Persia (Iran), where many of history’s greatest poets originate from (Hafez, Rumi, Khayyam, etc).
It’s a substantial piece at over eleven minutes duration, and also a reflective piece with clean guitar overlaid with a swathe of haunting leadwork, gentle drum rhythms, and clean vocals, developing into a heavier sound after the four-minute mark. The vocals turn darker in their delivery but maintain the clean quality, ramping up to a blackened, more driving riff midway through. Then the vocals turn tortuous and raw, delivered as a shout.
But you also get haunting backing cleans, building to a driving apex towards the close. A darkly beautiful piece to end on, deceptively powerful and magnificently moving.
The guitars were recorded in the UK, then they were later re-amped in Tehran, Iran, at an underground studio in Ekbatan, as Trivax wanted to capture what they call the “Air of home.”
Shayan has been unable to go back for several years, a consequence of the oppressive religious and cultural laws imposed by the Islamic Republic government in Iran, which Trivax stands against and is therefore strongly incompatible with. This is something I admire and respect them hugely for.
I was privileged to witness the live album launch for Eloah Burns Out when Trivax opened the Cosmic Void festival on Friday, 15 September. Not only is this a superb studio offering, but it makes equally superb live listening.
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