Twilight – Trident Death Rattle (2018) REVIEW

San Francisco based black metal project Twilight was essentially a ‘super group’ or rather a collaboration between several well known artists from black metal, sludge metal, and noise rock alike. By the time they’d fired off their third album ‘III: Beneath the Trident’s Tomb’ the project was producing material that lived up to lofty standards of the members involved. It is insane that this project wouldn’t continue beyond 2014 but I understand it was possibly due to the alleged rip-off artistry of Blake Judd (Nachtmystium) at the time that took Twilight down along with Judd‘s short-sighted greed. I don’t know the specifics, and I don’t judge art/artists like some moralistic tyrant, but I can only assume some of this lead to the differences between band members. With this business now ironed out between the former members, this EP includes three unreleased tracks from the sessions for ‘III: Beneath the Trident’s Tomb’. The content here quickly reveals it’s own importance and quality even as a posthumous release.

Apart from Judd, who contributes excellent melodic black metal guitar lines throughout, the line-up consistently featured Krieg mastermind Neil Jameson on vocals and Jef Whitehead aka Wrest (Leviathan, Lurker of Chalice) who provides an incredible drum performance on each of Twilight‘s releases but hits hardest on ‘III: Beneath the Trident’s Tomb’ and the almost Albini-like snap of the drum production is my favorite detail of the EP.  The production itself is impressive thanks to involvement from Sanford Parker who is not only a celebrated producer in his own right but also well known for his work in Minsk and Graves at Sea. The recording sounds like a fantastic combination of atmospheric sludge metal’s space-faring treatment given to an experimental black metal band.

Apart from being comprised of extra tracks from the band’s third album this EP is notable for being co-written by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth who contributed guitar and vocal work to ‘III: Beneath the Trident’s Tomb’. I suppose if you’re not familiar with Moore‘s solo work or anything he’s done since the late 80’s/early 90’s it might not immediately make sense how his experimental noise rock/pop style could fit. Moore‘s repertoire is chameleonic, twisted and entirely fitting for this mid-paced, semi-melodic black metal treatment with generally stomping drum work. Combined with the whirling keyboard/effects of Parker the collaboration’s affect is as if Oranssi Pazuzu were possessed by Bathory. The ringing, warbling sustain of Moore‘s guitar work creates a certain amount of detail and atmosphere that even just re-spinning these three tracks several times reveals a layered sound-collage driven by already impressive black metal rhythms.

This is an exceptional 18 minute experience and a miraculous collision of artists that actually deserves the silly-ass label of ‘supergroup’ to describe the effective power of the collaboration. It is also an excellent gateway into the band’s past where I’d first and foremost suggest remedying missing out on ‘III: Beneath the Trident’s Tomb’. Between the masterful mind-gel of Judd/Moore and the earthquake performance from Wrest I have to highly recommend this release, particularly to fans of psychedelic and experimental black metal.


Artist Twilight
Type EP
Released May 1, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on Ascension Monuments Media’s Bandcampe/Website! Twilight on Metal-Archives

Down from red-burning skies. 4.0/5.0

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