Abaddon magazine

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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Review: Trouble – Live in Stockholm

Label: Hammerheart Records

Date: September 2nd, 2022

This one got me in a bit of a mixed feeling. At least at the very beginning. Of course, the recent passing of such an important piece of Trouble puzzle, as Mr. Eric Wagner was, calls for a couple of reissues. Always has, whenever a member of the pack loses his or her life. “Pain sale” as I read it being called once.

Okay, Mr. Wagner was not a part of Trouble at the time of his passing. He wasn’t one for over a decade. But still… Unfortunate timing to publish one of the most influential doom metal live recordings. I really wish it was under different circumstances. This way it leaves a bit of a stain.

Then again, Hammerheart Records is on their way to reissue the previous Trouble album (the one without Mr. Wagner) as well. Also, there’s open talk of a brand new album to come our way soon. It’s the Dutch label spreading the news, so I guess they will be handling it.

Be that as it may, I’m here to write about the Stockholm show, from back in 2003. As the thing was actually released more than fifteen years ago, it is highly likely that all the parties engaged in Trouble’s musical delving are familiar with how this one sounds. Actually, you should also be familiar with what this concert looked like. This is merely the first appearance of this recording in strict audio format. Not to mention the double vinyl.

Now, the thing is re-mastered, which might be off-putting to some fans. However, firstly, “Live in Stockholm” sounds amazing, and secondly, it’s a 21st century recording to begin with, so you cannot quite complain about it being ruined by modern post-production work.

As for the music, you cannot really complain. About anything actually, considering the band, on the given night, performed the best they’ve created. Personal tastes aside, of course, this is as close to a selection of Trouble’s most celebrated tunes. Naturally, when dealing with a pioneering act such as Trouble, one can easily draw a parallel to the entire genre. Sure, they’re about a decade late to peer with Black Sabbath, but they’re still among the pinnacles of early doom metal. Should you be unaware of the band’s legacy… Well, let me put it this way, you should go and grab “Live in Stockholm” just as soon as the stores open on September 2nd. It’s the best way to familiarize yourself with these American legends.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what they sound like, but are too shy to ask, it’s like Sabbath with Dio or Tony Martin. An overly atmospheric and bleak vision of heavy metal. That’s it. No keyboards, violins, orchestras, operatic vocals… Just heavy metal, the slow(er), psychedelic way.