The members of Rhode Island wolf pack GODLESS RISING used wisely the time that has elapsed since the release of "Battle Lords". New album "Trumpet of Triumph" maintains the death metal fundamentals of its predecessor, this time accentuating the melodic aspects and emphasizing track distinction without losing any of the blasphemous fury.
What really makes "Trumpet of Triumph" a worthy follow-up is the attainment of the ever-elusive goal of making each song stand on its own through maturation of songwriting. The devil's details are finely honed, making the classic USDM sound in which the album is anchored shine brighter, owing to a diverse collection of chord progressions, vocal variation, and accent. Sinful melodiousness is just as important as ruthless delivery, resulting in songs like "Where is Your God" and "Damnation of Angelic Souls" — both featuring segments of morbid clean vocals – that capture attention. The guitar harmonizing throughout the album is first rate, to an extent reminding of the Luciferian majesty of VITAL REMAINS, regardless of GODLESS RISING's early connections to said act, which they may never be able to completely shake. Furthermore, there are several "Wow!" moments, such as the righteously beefy groove-riff on "Christ Cadaver".
"Trumpet of Triumph" also benefits from a healthy amount of black metal compositional elements, adding even more diversity. That includes vocalist Jeff Gruslin (ex-VITAL REMAINS) who gives his best performance to date, alternating between traditional growls and pointed BM rasps with ease. Beyond the vocals is a significant infusion of black metal by way of certain melody patterns and the more muscular aspects of the sub-genre, not to mention the pure fiendishness of it all. Aside from the unnecessary inclusion of "Dante's Inferno (Burn the Flock)", a somewhat ill fitting Satanic interlude, the melding of blackness and death is a success.
It is heartening to hear a death metal album on which each song is unique, at least within the constructs of the style. "Trumpet of Triumph" damn well better be the album that gets GODLESS RISING the respect it deserves. It's a good one.