Truus – Dawn of Perdition

3 out of 5

Label: Auris Apothecary

Produced by: Dante Augustus Scarlatti (recorded by, mixed by)

A very promising debut.

Truus’ trio features at least one shared bandmate with fellow Auris Apothecary-signee Gnaw Bone, and there’s a good touchpoint there, blending hardcore with death metal. But whereas I’ve found GB’s approach limited – propping up style over content – Truus push craft and competence to the forefront, creating an alluring blend that steps between straight-up doom metal, hardcore, thrash, and then some post-hardcore breakdowns and melodies that remind me of something like Bergraven. It’s not a herky-jerk mix, either: tracks excitingly transition between styles, withholding from doing anything really showy – the group sticks to their notable chops, given a genre-appropriate flat mix by Dante Augustus Scarlatti, but then mastered (by Dan Randall) such that the vocals, guitars, and drumming all have notable impact. But yes, that is “withholding,” meaning there’s some clear restraint, here: tracks generally feel a verse or two shy of breaking out into something next-level; the closest we get is closer Memoir of Self Reckoning, which makes good on the bits and pieces that stand above the metal thrash throughout and puts them altogether. Lyrically, the theme seems to stick to a criticism on blindly following leaders; the phrases use familiar doom-laden imagery, but it’s well-composed stuff that’s worth a read.

If Truus can continue improving upon the solid framework that Dawn of Perdition provides, taking notes from last track ‘Memoir’ and blending all of their abilities and influences into a more unleashed full-length, they’ll easily have something that can stand toe-to-toe with genre heavyweights.