TROUBLE – Psalm 9

TROUBLE - Psalm 9
  • 8.5/10
    TROUBLE - Psalm 9 - 8.5/10


Escapi Music
Release date: October 24, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Trouble was an early 1980s Doom Metal band that hailed from Chicago, Illinois, USA. They put out a few albums during that era, and while the band never found mainstream success, they did obtain a sizable cult following, with many acts later citing them as an influence.

Psalm 9, the band’s debut, originally came out in 1984. In October 2006, the album (and its 1985 follow-up The Skull) were re-released, with improved sound quality and updated liner notes written by noted Heavy Metal historian Martin Popoff. A bonus performance DVD is also included in the package.

In February 2007, Trouble’s Plastic Green Head (from 1995) will be re-released alongside a brand-new studio album, but that discussion is for another time.

If you’re too young to remember Trouble back in their heyday, they sound a lot like vintage-era Black Sabbath: doomy, gloomy, dirge-like songs (with lyrics often revolving around religious issues), with the wailing vocals of Eric Wagner backed by the crushing guitar riffs of Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin. This isn’t happy stuff: nearly all the songs are slow, downbeat, and pummeling. Trouble is trying to beat you up with their Heavy Metal message, and they do a pretty good job of it; the only song on the album that could be considered “fast” would be “Assassin,” and even that’s not too speedy.

Psalm 9 is an interesting trip back in time, to an era when Heavy Metal wasn’t pretty and flashy and fast, but heavy, brutish, and unglamorous; music played by guys who looked like they were bikers, not fashion models. This is Doom Metal in its embryonic stage; it doesn’t get much more rawer than this. But, even with the passage of time, Trouble’s music has lost none of its power. You can still headbang to this today just as easily as the headbangers of yesteryear undoubtedly did. Cynics might scoff, saying Trouble sounds like the inspiration for parody band Spinal Tap (and they’d have a bit of a point), but this is still worthy “founding father” music just the same.

The bonus DVD on Psalm 9 is worthy of a look: it’s vintage footage of the band performing on a cable access television show from 1982. Obviously, recorded on tape (it’s been cleaned up a lot, but you can tell the source videotape hasn’t aged really well), the band runs through three songs that would later appear on Psalm 9. In between the songs are brief interview segments with the band; they come across as rather affable and down-to-earth, not dark and scary like their music. The camera work and editing originally used back in 1982 is pretty limited and crude, but this 20-minute relic from the Heavy Metal time capsule is still interesting.

Psalm 9 is one of those “important” Heavy Metal albums from the dawn of time that crawled from the primordial ooze and began to evolve, loudly; even though Trouble didn’t know it back then, this disc would play a big part in shaping an entire genre of music. Check it out.


  • Gary McLean

    Gary was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of the small Ontario, Canada town of Sault Ste. Marie, right on the border of Michigan, USA. When it comes to Metal and Hard Rock, Gary likes quite a few different bands, from stalwarts like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, to newer, hard-hitting groups such as Primal Fear, Hammerfall, and Paragon. Other favorites include the likes of Nightwish, Running Wild, Therion, Accept, Stratovarius, Dream Evil, Helloween, Rammstein, Dirty Looks, Crimson Glory, Tristania, and Gamma Ray. He thinks AC/DC deserves a paragraph all their own though.

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