Trouble - The Skull

Yesterday my friend Buke sent me a text telling me that he had just heard “The Tempter”, from Trouble’s 1984 debut album “Psalm 9”, for the very first time. That got me to thinking that I had not listened to Trouble in awhile, which led to me listening to Trouble today, which leads us here to this write-up.

Trouble released their first three albums on Metal Blade. “The Skull” and “Run to the Light” were albums two and three. I first heard Trouble on one of the best of Metal Blade compilations I had on LP. It had “The Tempter” from “Psalm 9” and “Fear No Evil” from “The Skull.” The first Trouble album I bought was “Run to the Light” on cassette.

After “Run to the Light” the band left Metal Blade and headed in a less doom metal, more stoner metal direction. I have the four albums that followed as well, but I am not as familiar with them as I am with the first three. Of those first three albums, I think “The Skull” is probably my favorite. “Psalm 9” is cool, but the production is not quite as good. “Run to the Light” was often disdained by many old school fans, but I still think it is pretty decent. “The Skull” is a happy medium between the two.

When I talk about doom metal I often make comparisons to Candlemass, which makes sense, because other than the holy Black Sabbath itself, no one tops Candlemass at doom in my opinion. I would be lax in my duties if I did not mention that, along with Saint Vitus, Trouble is one of the cornerstones of doom metal. They are like the Ramones of metal; pioneers in the genre who never got the credit or commercial success that they deserved.

For awhile I stopped listening to the band because I heard they were Christian metal. I have Christian friends, and people can believe what they want, but I am not into Christian metal. As it turns out, they are not, in fact, Christian metal, but they do make biblical references. Candlemass made biblical references too, but I never thought they were Christian metal. At one point, they were labeled White Metal, the opposite of Black Metal. Well, having songs which discuss biblical stories and themes is not the same as preaching fire and brimstone, so eventually I came back to the band.

I hear there may be another Trouble album in the works, but I do not know if I would like it. Original singer Eric Wagner left the band for the second time a few years ago, and his distinctive voice makes or breaks Trouble for me. Though, I said that about Candlemass when Messiah left, and I recently raved about the latest Candlemass, so anything is possible I suppose. If nothing else, we have the old albums to enjoy still.

Check out my first track I ever heard off “The Skull.” I give you – “Fear No Evil.”