I honestly cannot tell you the last time I had an album blow me away with some form of metal I haven’t heard yet. Trepalium have done just that with their six-song EP Damballa’s Voodoo Doll.
I thought I knew what Trepalium were all about a few years back when I reviewed their album H.N.P., but they have evolved quite a bit. It sounds like they traveled straight from their home in France back in time to early 1930s New Orleans. They have blended their brand of groove metal with some sort of jazz, swing and voodoo, and they have laid out some damn good metal here! It’s infectious and tight as hell. If you don’t find yourself tapping your feet and banging your head here, something is wrong with you. I have listened to these six songs on repeat for a week now, trying to not only study the intricacies of the songwriting but to see if it could wear on me. It hasn’t. Plain and simple, Damballa’s Voodoo Doll is just cool.
“Moonshine Limbo” opens up with what sounds like a rowdy crowd in a swinging piano bar, and then the horns and groove take over. These guys are tight, and vocalist KK sounds like a cross between Rob Zombie and John Tardy on acid. The title track, featuring a special appearance by Gojira‘s Joe Duplantier, is another funky assault on the senses. It builds to a magical chorus and bridge with Duplantier and KK trading vocals. Sylvain Bouvier is an impeccable drummer, and he really showcases his skills here. “Possessed By the Nightlife” has a Big Easy, lounge, scat-type feel to it. It’s more straightforward but no less catchy. “Guédé Juice” is the most “metal” song here but it doesn’t lack the aforementioned groove. “Fire On Skin” has an ominous, almost industrial feel to it. “Blowjob on the Rocks” showcases the immense talent Trepalium have as musicians. It also lays back and lets the cool feeling of jazz and swing take over with piano and horn interludes.
Trepalium have created a monster with Damballa’s Voodoo Doll. I absolutely love everything about these six songs.
Damballa’s Voodoo Doll is self-released and out February 9.
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):