Trust – ‘Hellfest 2017’ (earMUSIC) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 04:20

Trust Live at Hellfest coverThere is no doubt about: Trust’s place in the canon of heavy metal is assured.  For two reasons.  The first being that drummer Nicko McBrain was chosen as the replacement for Clive Burr when he was forced to quit Iron Maiden due to the debilitating illness to which he subsequently succumbed; and the second being the fact that Anthrax turned the French punk/metal crossover act’s ‘Antisocial’ into such a massive anthem that many fans believe it to be one of the Noo Yawk thrashers’ own songs…


After four albums – the last, ‘Trust IV’, ironically featuring Clive Burr on drums – the band split in 1984, their reputation for promoting political angst in tatters:  it was one of those “could have been, should have been” stories.  Of course, over the intervening years, there have been occasional reunions, a couple of EPs released in their native France and the odd tour (including their just-concluded 40th anniversary jaunt around their homeland) and festival appearance – such as this one, recorded at last year’s Hellfest (as the title tells us).


Now, I’m lucky enough to own a couple of Trust’s early singles and albums, and they certainly had a spit and a fury about them when they were released nigh on four decades ago.  Unfortunately, this performance shows that both those qualities are severely lacking in the band’s latter years, as this sounds like a group of mates who have decided to relive their glory days by ringing up their local promoter and asking, “any chance mate… we promise you, we can still cut it…”


I’m basing this review solely on the CD version (it’s available on DVD as well, with the bonus of a performance of ‘Antisocial’ with Anthrax), but this very much sounds like a band going through the motions.  Even in the current political climate, with the backdrop of Brexit, rows about immigration and the rise of the far right, Trust’s once highly charged stance on issues which were relevant in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s sounds sadly dated.  Yes, they can still deliver musically, and there is a slight acerbic edge to both Bernie’s vocals and Nono’s guitar riffs, but once challenging anthems such as ‘Marche Or Crève’, ‘Le Temps Efface Tout’ and ‘Démocrassie’ sound stale and irrelevant.


As for the version of ‘Antisocial’ which rounds off proceedings? Holy fuck and all the fucks in the Über Kingdom of Fuckdom, it lives up its title so much that I just served an Über ASBO on it… Live albums often fail to recreate the energy of the show, or shows, they encapsulate, but, sadly, on this occasion, that quality seems to have been missing in the first place.  Add in the substandard mix and the atrocious editing between songs, and this is a disappointing and unrewarding representation of a once great band.


‘Hellfest 2017’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.


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