Format: Digital, 3CD + DVD.
Background/Info: This massive release by Electro Aggression Records comes to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the legendary German duo Trial. Set up in 1991 by Torsten Schröder (vocals, drums) and Erick Miotke (keyboards) the band gained instant success in the early 90s with their EP “Blut Und Eisen” and the debut album “Zero Feeling”. They moved on releasing the second album “Secret Pain”. The band struck back after the millennium, doing live performances and even self-released a new album “No fate” in 2008. This release features three CD’s plus a live DVD.
Content: I’ll take off with the last CD, which is called “Classic Anthology” getting us back to some of the band’s most famous songs from the early years –and even featuring songs from their early cassette period. It brings us back to the dark EBM format of the duo, which was icy sounding and driven by harsh and cutting vocals of Torsten Schröder.
“Für Zwei” brings us back to the ‘later’ period and work of the band, revealing new edits and previously unreleased songs. This album is an interesting work mixing the early trial sound with a more elaborated approach, which mainly comes through in the impressive and dynamic percussion parts. Some tracks even sound like injected by Dark-Techno elements, which also comes through on the reworked version of “Blut Und Eisen”.
The second disc entitled “Live” features live tracks, especially from the early years. The DVD brings a different tracklist, but mainly going through to their early years. The live recordings happened in Germany at different locations and different years (2006, 2007 and 2009).
+ + + : This is an essential release –and probably the greatest work ever released by this small EBM label, but it’s an absolute ode to the genius of Trial, which especially in the mind of old-school EBM lovers remained a favorite band. I was deeply impressed by the composition of “Für Zwei” where the band deals with an empowered EBM sound. The percussion layers are terrific, but also the global writing reflects coldness and intelligence. I can’t understand why some of these songs didn’t get more attention, but this release is for sure an opportunity to put Trial back on the map.
The “Classic Anthology” is also cool and definitely an opportunity to rediscover the genius of the band. Several songs are irresistible, reminding us why Trial was different from the rest. I also have to say a word about the great artwork of this album.
The live-CD is a great work for the fans, but I especially recommend the DVD recorded in Magdebürg, Leipzig, Hannover and Köln. The live shows were pretty sober, but characterized by the presence of Torsten Schröder. I especially like the few tracks where he’s playing live drums, injecting an extra boost to the songs. The DVD is also of a great sound quality and filmed with different cameras.
– – – : You clearly have to like Trial otherwise you gone get rapidly saturated. The 3 albums feature 55 (!) songs. The live-CD doesn’t sound like the most essential part to me.
Conclusion: This is a great way to celebrate 30 years of Trial; EBM with a cold, but irresistible style!
Best songs: “God Is Dead – Extended Rework”, “I Speak To You – Finished Mix”, “You Want It”, “Für Zwei – Extended Single Mix” + “Dreamstalker” + “Strange II”, “Prisoner”, “Blut Und Eisen”, “Sin”, “Is T Worth It”.
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