REVIEW: A Trust Unclean – Reality Relinquished [EP/2015]


Artist: A Trust Unclean 

Album: Reality Relinquished – EP


As a species, we depend on the concept of “reality” to define the world around us. We have the curse of being able to differentiate between the dreams born from states of suspended consciousness and the living, breathing world around us—which is why some of our greatest fears and fantasies arise from the notions that our “reality” is just a really realistic dream (cue The Matrix). However, what if our “reality” is really a coping mechanism for the truly terrible state of our actual existence—a pleasant dream to distract us from a perpetual nightmare? Once we let go of our distractions and embrace the world as it truly is, we experience something savage, unforgiving and truly evil—we experience A Trust Unclean’s Reality Relinquished. An answer to glitzy, shiny “heavy” albums worldwide, Reality Relinquished is a gritty, grotesque and technically marvelous monstrosity that devours the listener whole and reduces them to chyme. This gory quintet hailing from Great Britain hold nothing back, contrasting razor sharp riffs with blunt, bone-busting breakdowns to provide a filler-free, fast and furious technical deathcore EP.

From the first whirling riff of “Enucleation,” A Trust Unclean decimates the listener with the precision and intensity of a laser. Built on a foundation of flashy, fleet-footed percussion, Reality Relinquished stampedes into the listener’s skull without subtlety or tact, taking no prisoners and leaving no hope for survival. Percussionist Scott Horne leads A Trust Unclean’s hurried onslaught, reigning over “Enucleated” with dizzying blast beats and dominating “Incipient Catastrophe” with devastating kick drum patterns that provide bassist Bobby Hembrow with a brilliant canvas upon which to carve deep, gory grooves. Together, Horne and Hembrow craft a low-end deeper than Mariana’s Trench—with groove-tinted breakdowns like those on “Feckless Tradition” giving a glorious example of the duo’s disastrous precision. While incredibly effective, Horne’s salvo of skin-peeling blast beats and Hembrow’spoppy, punchy bass still find themselves just barely above technical deathcore’s standard—which is where guitarists Steven Hunt and Mikey Gee save the day. While Hunt and Gee might not evoke Rings of Saturn-esque shred, what they do is arguably better: take, for example, “Perverse Agenda.” Beginning with a relatively straightforward groove, Hunt and Gee quickly stray from the beaten path with flashy fills and flourishes that blind the listener with figurative brightness and vivacity. The duo combine dissonant, demolishing grooves and chugs with skillful, furious fretwork to establish a fluid dynamic of brutality and beauty—the former just as lethal as the latter—each tearing chunks of flesh from the listener like a starved Rottweiler.

Not to be outdone by a backdrop of murderous musical malignancy, frontman Joe Corcoran adds intensity and evil to every second of Reality Relinquished with variety and range that many of the genre’s veterans lack. “Incipient Catastrophe” is again an excellent example. Here, Corcoran’s performance is simply unstoppable—from the first howl of the track, he barely pauses for breath, smothering the listener with piercing screams, punishing growls and strained, gritty mid-range yells with unbelievable candor and unstoppable endurance. Corcoran leaves no track on A Trust Unclean’s latest EP untouched, giving the listener precious few moments of peace—which is only “peace” in a manner of speaking, as even during segments where Corcoran is resting his pipes, the remainder of the crushing quintet is still hard at work eviscerating the listener without remorse or relent.

In a word, A Trust Unclean are unstoppable. At close to twenty minutes long, Reality Relinquished doesn’t even think of slowing down once—making it an intense, demanding exercise in technical heaviness that is sure to leave most listener’s winded. Despite its density, the latest release from A Trust Unclean maintains the ability to be fun—with several moments of crowd-pleasing, mosh-inducing malevolence that give listeners a reason to pick their jaw up from the floor and let loose a couple spin kicks. While it is certainly worth mentioning that A Trust Unclean flow from smooth technicality to rough, ravaging heaviness better than a majority of their peers do, they still have a little work to do when it comes to writing diverse songs. Even with only five tracks to pick from, there are sparse features that truly differentiate one song from the next—making Reality Relinquished a fun and consistent EP, but the bulk of its tracks samey and predictable.

When the world as you know it is torn down from around you like rotten wallpaper and diseased drywall, the bare, infested bones of true reality Are all that are left to call home—a framework of pestilence and putridity filled by vomit-inducing grit. Welcome to A Trust Unclean’s Reality: one that leaves no listener unscathed.



For Fans Of: Nexilva, Bound by Exile, Rings of Saturn, Martyr Defiled

By: Connor Welsh