Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, September 6, 2021

Trna - Istok

Hearing blackgaze evolve and discover bold new heights has been a lot of fun for the last decade. It's exciting when bands find new ways to take things forward and uncover new layers to the sound. Such is the case with Istok the masterful new offering from Trna. This is a potent release and one that builds on many of the genres pre-existing tropes to ensure an exciting and powerful offering that people will keep coming back too. It's blackgaze performed at the highest level and which speaks to the overarching triumph of the genre. 

Though Istok is very pretty, there are a few moments of raw brutality that serve as a fitting counterpoint. Simultaneously, it isn't afraid to lean into straight shoegaze moments as it does on 'Rebirth'. There are also touches of emo that are a bit unexpected but lend a certain DIY show charm to the record as you fall ever deeper in love with it. It makes the most grandiose moments come down to earth a bit in a fitting reminder of why we all do this. It's cool to see a band in the genre do more than just ape Alcest but instead seek to find ways to push it forward ,even if it means uncovering the roots a bit more than many of the others in their scene.

Istok is a stunner and one that proves Trna are among the heavyweights in the genre. This is a band who are gloriously heavy and a delight to really let yourself experience. There is a shining magic to these songs, and the decision to cap off an already long record with the 13 minute instrumental, "Shining" works surprisingly well. Trna make triumphant soundscapes for devout listeners to explore for years on end. When you get this record you are buying into a larger experience that you won't forget for a long time. 

 Pre-order the album!

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