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Review: Trojans – The Blissful Hollow EP

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This week’s focus is on up-and-coming Australian metalcore band Trojans and their debut EP, The Blissful Hollow. This EP is 5 tracks and about 20 minutes in length. As Australian bands tend to be, Trojans carry a lot of groove and deliver catchy breakdowns. The Blissful Hollow will be available on major outlets like iTunes and Spotify tomorrow! Be sure to check out their Facebook too!

As soon as I saw that Trojans is from Australia, I pretty much knew you were going to enjoy The Blissful Hollow to some extent. The vocals sound eerily familiar, but I can’t think of who they sound similar to. Nonetheless, the vocals have a strong presence on this EP and are powerful. There are clean vocals that pitch in occasionally when necessary. The harsh vocals are the dominant ones, but when the clean vocals come in, they sound pretty gentle and even a bit divine at times. Every track has cleans, but “Faux Wolf” is probably the best example. The section in which these cleans are featured sounds very hopeful and upbeat. The rhythms and simple leads have a very light sound, so it only adds to the clean vocals’ divinity.

Let’s discuss the breakdowns on The Blissful Hollow. There are many and that usually bothers me. It doesn’t bother me as much here as it usually would, but it still takes away from Trojans’ abilities. The frequency in which breakdowns occur, which is frequent, gives the impression that Trojans falls back on breakdowns rather than crafting riffs and progressive song structures. In the same vein, the breakdowns are catchy and usually include a sick vocal queue or ethereal leads. “Letters to the End” is a great example of this because it begins immediately with a moderately paced chugged riff that quickly leads into a breakdown. With select few transitions and a chorus included, “Letters to the End” is basically all breakdowns. It’s a bit disappointing because the frequency of breakdowns takes away from how catchy and not annoying they could be. Timing impacts how well a breakdown lands and timing is not here.

The first track actually reminds me a bit of old school Emmure by the vocal styles, breakdowns, leads, and even the song structure. “Dead Eyed Stare” actually does have a noticeable and followable structure that is executed well. Breakdowns are frequent here, but the other elements involved in this song are what allow this frequency to be okay and not so boring. With that said, “Dead Eyed Stare” is my favorite track on The Blissful Hollow simply because it offers more to the listeners and is a bit nostalgic for me.

Despite all of the flak I’m giving Trojans for their breakdowns, I do actually like a good portion of the breakdowns present. The intro for “Disillusioned” is a breakdown to remember. There are a few breakdowns throughout the whole EP that are done well by some of the old tricks used (i.e. vocal queues), so I don’t hate this EP. Hearing the elements and potential shine through moments on The Blissful Hollow show that Trojans has the ability to write decent music (instrumentally speaking), but chose an easier/more fun route. In their defense, playing breakdowns live is extremely fun and always gets the crowd moving. However, that doesn’t mean they should compromise their writing abilities or even ideas for the sake of creating mosh pits because either way people will enjoy it and will hit other people.

I can’t say I loved this EP, but I’d be lying if I said I disliked it. This is definitely fun to listen to if you aren’t listening for anything specific or if you have it on in the background or even just listening with friends. I also can’t say I see myself listening to this straight through again; only one or two songs at a time. If you check out The Blissful Hollow, I recommend “Dead Eyed Stare” and “Disillusioned.”

Rate: 6.7/10

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