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Trappist System Trio

Experimental/Post Metal

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Trappist System Trio Arrival album cover
3.26 | 6 ratings | 5 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Enlightened (8:28)
2. Shrine of Holes (4:13)
3. Killing Pigeon (4:27)
4. Lust and Found (4:06)
5. Zombie Thrush (3:14)
6. Dogmann (4:52)
7. Cause and Defect (5:28)
8. Clown Within the Mask (4:40)
9. Salt the Wound (4:00)

Total Time 43:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Vladimir Kulikov / vocals, guitars
- Dmitriy Prilukov / bass
- Evgeny Trefilov / drums

- Elena Feneva / keyboards (8)
- Leonid Perevalov / bass clarinet (5,6)
- Ivan Rozmainsky / keyboards (1,2,6)

Releases information

Artwork: Alina Kulikova

FONO LTD - Cat. № FOP133CD (2019, Russia)

Digital album

Thanks to felonafan for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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TRAPPIST SYSTEM TRIO Arrival ratings distribution

(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (67%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars The Russian experimental/post metal band 'Trappist System Trio' is one of those bands that sounds like it has been together for quite some time, however, they only released their debut album in 2019 called 'Arrival'. Right off the bat, this trio of Vladimir Kulikov (vocals, guitar), Dmitriy Prilukov (bass) and Evgeny Trfilove (drums) attack this album with a smart sounding, eclectic and heavy sound, that captures the listener right at the onset. It might be helped along by veteran progger Ivan Rozmainsky (Roz Vitalis) is a guest keyboardist for 3 of the tracks here, including 'The Enlightened', which is the track that instantly takes you by surprise at how 'together' the music sounds. But, when it comes down to it, Rozmainsky knows he is a guest, and is content to sit back and let the core trio prove their talent in this 8 minute opener. There is one problem with it all though. Kulikov is the vocalist, and his vocals are an acquired taste. In music like this, however, that might be a minor issue as everything else in this opening track is exactly what you want it to be. Heavy, quirky, a bit over-the-top in showmanship, but damn, this is an eye and ear opening track.

Well, that's all just great, but there are 8 other tracks to listen to here. Can this new band carry their weight through it all?

To make sure this band could pull off the one-two punch of rousing openers, Rozmainsky is utilized again in 'Shrine of Holes'. However, once again, his influence in this track seems minor, nothing like the more experimental and fusion sound of Roz Vitalis, and the keys are used more as foundation then anything else, thus allowing the 'sparse' instrumentation to take over. However, with only 3 people in the core band, it is amazing the level of heavy eclectic guitar prog that is evident here sound more like twice that number. Even though all of the songs after the first one stay around the 4-5 minute mark, each one still packs enough progressive energy and metal complexity to keep the proggers happy.

The vocals are still sounding like they will take some getting used to, but they do provide the over the top sound that is demanded in the music. The accent is heavy since the songs are in English, though the Russian inflection is there quite strongly. Nothing wrong with that, but the slightly quirky, sometimes off-key singing can be a slight factor here. The heavy riffs in 'Killing Pigeon' however will make you want to keep listening, even now that you are 3 songs into the album. The vocalist will also throw in a surprising emotional growl that usually takes the listener into a riveting guitar/bass/drum section that can blow the loose hairs off the top of your head with the energy coming out of your speakers.

'Lust and Found' and 'Zombie Thrush' come next in line, and these tracks were already released in an EP a year or two before this album was released. However, the songs fit right in with the heavy and eclectic sound. The latter brings in another Russian guest who has appeared on other Russian progressive albums, namely Leonid Perevalov, who brings his bass clarinet into the fray. It's a nice touch, and also reminds the listener that this is post metal, so expect a bit of a jazz touch to 'Zombie Thrush' added to the quirky sound of it all. This bass clarinet reappears along with more keys by Rozmainsky in the next track 'Dogmann'. Something else that needs to be mentioned here is the fact that the lyrics are a definite satirical take on the lyrics that are common in many metal albums. The lyrics are silly, but it's intentional, and you will know this if you listen closely to them in this track and the previous 'Killing Pigeon' and 'Zombie Thrush'. But, listening to the complex and progressive quirkiness of the instrumental power here lets you know the band is serious when it comes to talent.

'Cause and Defect' begins in the same quirky, heavy style, but is set apart by the instrumental break when things get extra noisy and chaotic. 'Clown within the Mask' features another guest keyboardist with Elena Feneva who adds a bit of synth atmosphere to the chorus of this track. There are also some excellent guitar and bass solos packed in the track along with a somewhat short, rhapsodic piano ending keeping things interesting. The album ends with 'Salt the Wound' which delivers that last quirky, progressive guitar punch needed to complete the album.

This is quite a fun and excellent album full of quirky progressiveness, heavy music, goofy, sarcastic lyrics and many a surprise packed in. The few problems have to do with the vocals which are a bit overly dramatic at times, not that that is a bad thing, but by the end of the album, you are wishing that a few of the tracks had been instrumentals to break it up a bit more. By the time you reach the final three tracks, the vocals are starting to wear on you a bit. The other issue is that the guests are a bit underutilized and should stand out a little more to give more depth to the music. The band really achieves this in 'Zombie Thrush' and 'Dogmann' with the bass clarinet, but the guest keyboardists are hardly even noticed. I understand that the band wants to emphasize their basic 3 person line up, but they could have still kept that balance and let more of the keys shine through when they were used. Otherwise, what's the point of adding them, really? These are minor issues, but all together, along with the 'acquired taste' needed for the vocals, this takes the album to a 4 star rating. But overall, it is strong enough to deserve more attention than what it has been getting.

Standout tracks are 'Enlightened', 'Zombie Thrush', 'Dogmann' 'Shrine of Holes' and 'Killing Pigeon' (in that order). Main issue: throw in some instrumental tracks and utilize guests better to add more depth. Excellent album.

Review by Kempokid
3 stars It's been a while since I've gotten my fix of obscure Russian prog, and as always, the request to check this album out intrigued me, given how versatile a lot of these sorts of bands managed to be within the realm of retro symphonic prog. This is where Arrival caught me off guard so much, as instead of being greeted by soft moog and orchestral instruments, what awaited me was layers of guitar that led into a hard hitting riff, paving the way for a very different sort of listening experience to what I expected, and to be honest, I'm not exactly sure whether I completely this or not.

The first thing that I picked up was the fact that the intro to The Enlightened sounds like a slightly altered version of Dream Theater's Panic Attack, with a similar sounding bassline backed up by an overall mysterious sound that constantly seems to escalate, until it breaks into one riff after another. Something else I picked up was that while the album transitions between riffs and ideas at a breakneck pace, each one lingers just long enough to be highly memorable, giving the album quite a lot of identity on the whole. If there's one issue I have with this track, and by extension, this album, it's that I'm not the biggest fan of the vocals, as while the more melodic aspects of it are quite nice, it feels like there's very little power behind the singer's voice whenever he aims to reach the dramatic flair that it feels like he intended. One of the things on the whole that I find to be a detriment to the album is that lack of power, but even so, I find that it's balanced out exceptionally by the impressive instrumentation backed up by some really catchy hooks that carry a surprising amount of emotion behind them, despite the somewhat unusual sounding accent of the vocalist, something which I feel not even Riverside accomplished to such a degree. Despite the fact that songs like Shrine of Holes manage to be full of energy and all around fun to listen to, the 2 highlights outside of The Enlightened are undoubtedly Zombie Thrush and Dogmann, partially for the same reason, that reason being the addition of the bass clarinet, which really allows the song to shine that bit more by giving another instrument to take part in the solos that end up sounding like duels between the musicians involved. It also helps quite a bit that these are where the album really perfects the riffs on it, with the interplay between the bass and guitar being absolutely on point, making it very satisfying to listen to. Outside of the vocals, the other problem I have is that the extremely cohesive, singular sound of much of the album works against the overall experience, due to the fact that the lack of emotional range present here causes many tracks to begin melding with one another to the point where my investment in the album begins to diminish, making the final third of the album quite a chore, despite the fact that the songs themselves still maintain fairly consistent quality, it's just that the quality isn't quite high enough to remain consistently engaging.

Overall, while this definitely was quite a different experience to what I expected from this band, the album did not wholly win me over. I feel like there were a lot of aspects of this that were quite good, but the overall album just didn't come together quite right, with the very one note feel it has causing my enjoyment of this album to plummet towards the end. That said, there's a lot of this that's done quite well regardless, and I feel like with some refinement and additional variety, this band could make some decently compelling prog metal, and I didn't dislike my time with this album by any means.

Best tracks: The Enlightened, Zombie Thrush, Dogmann

Weakest tracks: Cause and Defect, Clown Within the Mask, Salt the Wound

Verdict: Fairly standard prog metal, but with a bit more intensity, technicality and identity than your usual bog standard generic stuff. If you're really into prog metal you might get a kick out of it, and it's competent overall, but don't expect to be completely blown away by this either, it's just an all around decent prog metal album with an occasional bit of flair thrown in.

Review by kev rowland
3 stars Over the years Ivan Rozmainsky (Roz Vitalis) has sent me various albums from Russia he felt I should hear, and that is the case with the debut release by Trappist System Trio, who hail from St. Petersburg. The band was formed in 2017 when members of local bands Retrial (Vladimir Kulikov - vocals, guitar) and Vergeltung (Dmitry Prilukov - bass, Evgeny Trefilov - drums) wanted to form a band to play live without backing tracks in a minimalistic configuration but using complex time signatures, uneven bar cycles and improvisation. For this album they brought in guests on some of the tracks; Elena Feneva (keyboards, Sopor), Leonid Perevalov (bass clarinet, Yojo, Roz Vitalis, RMP) and Ivan Rozmainsky (keyboards, Roz Vitalis, RMP).

All the guests take very much a back seat on the album, so even though two of them play together in some well- established bands they fully understand their role here is to just provide some gloss and shine, and let the trio do their stuff. Lyrics are in English, and while Kulikov may not be the greatest singer in the world, the music is perfect for his style. While it is right to think of this as progressive, this is far more post metal and experimental in approach, with the keyboard players in the background and jagged metallic constructs being the order of the day. The production is quite dry, and as one would expect with a power trio there is no room for anyone to hide and each of the musicians takes the lead role when the time is right. This is far more metallic than many will expect, yet is quite different to what is normally thought of as being prog metal, with aspects of the likes of Cardiacs while Red Hot Chilli Peppers can also be thought of as an influence, along with some mathrock. This is far more accessible than much of the music I hear from Russia and is certainly worth seeking out on Bandcamp.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Well, That Was Fun! Arrival This debut LP release from St. Petersburg-based progressive power-metal trio really sizzles. I found it enormously fun throughout the nine quirky, rambunctious tracks, and right up front, if you want some progressive music that defies easy categorization but de ... (read more)

Report this review (#2345543) | Posted by Steve Conrad | Friday, March 27, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars TRAPPIST SYSTEM TRIO is a trio of Russian musicians releasing their 1st CD after an EP last year. Two of the compositions are on it, it is a bit of a very oily and oily ode to the famous Belgian Trappist beer Chimay not to mention it, with which they must have fallen in love. The deployed genre ... (read more)

Report this review (#2340051) | Posted by alainPP | Wednesday, March 4, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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