The opening track to Northern Ireland quartet Triggerman’s last album (2010’s ‘Brand New Day’) was appropriately entitled ‘The Riff Holds Sway’: it’s a description which more than adequately describes Triggerman to their particular brand of in-yer-face butt-kickin’ Doc Marten-clad brand of… well… riff-laden rock ‘n’f’n’ roll (as we say around these parts).
Rarely does a band capture the incendiary nature of their live shows as well as this Derry mob do with this third album, which right from the opening double drum roll and frontman Bap’s questioning “well, well, well, what we got here” on ‘Rage Of The Goddess’ to the last dying chord of ‘Blind Side Of The Moon’ has you raising your horns high, your beer even higher and bearing worship to the majesty of the riff.
And to say that this album is jammed full of riffs is an understatement of the worst kind: it’s positively overflowing with them, be it the chugging chorus line of ‘Rage Of The Goddess’, the foot-stomping title track (who needs the swords and sorcery of wimps like Manowar when this mob can get you ‘banging like a maniac to a song about fishing?) or the anthemic ‘Thon Strange Brew’ and the dirt-under-the-fingernails grind of ‘Wake The Dead’ (with a bassline so heavy it’s capable of doing just that).
The performances are all perfect, with the rhythm section of Dixie and Rory tighter than a Ballymena man’s wallet and Niall laying down riffs of the sort that Zakk Wylde will probably be ringing him for lessons if he ever hears this – and all topped off with Bap’s distinct spoken-style vocals, which literally are hypnotic.
If you’re into deep, deep southern swamp acts like BLS, Down, Godsized, EyeHateGod et al – well, clear a massive big space in your CD collection, ‘cos you’re gonna want to make room for Triggerman.[9.5/10]
1. Rage Of The Goddess
2. Rise Of The Woodsman
3. Hail To The River Gods
4. Th’on Strange Brew
5. The Flower Of Life
6. Blind Side Of The Moon
‘Hail To The River Gods’ is out now and can be bought from
Triggerman support Sepultura at The Limelight in Belfast on Sunday April 12th.