Psalm 9

Label: Hammerheart Records
Three similar bands: Black Sabbath/Cathedral/Kyuss

Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. The Tempter
2. Assassin
3. Victim Of The Insane
4. Revelation (Life Or Death)
5. Bastards Will Pay
6. The Fall Of Lucifer
7. Endtime
8. Psalm 9
9. Tales Of Brave Ulysses

Eric Wagner – vocals
Bruce Franklin – guitars
Rick Wartell – guitars
Sean McAllister – bass
Jeff Olson – drums

Psalm 9 (1984)
The Skull (1985)
Run to the Light (1987)
Trouble (1990)
Manic Frustration (1992)
Plastic Green Head (1995)
Simple Mind Condition (2007)
The Distortion Field (2013)


Recorded in Track Record Studios (Los Angeles, California)
Bill Metoyer – producer, engineer
Brian Slagel – producer

Released 2021-02-12
Reviewed 2021-07-13

hammerheart records

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Back in 1984 Trouble released their debut album, it was then named Trouble but later renamed when they released the 1990 album with the same name. It is one of four Hammerheart reissues we review for Hallowed, and in difference to at least some earlier issues the title is moved on the cover, a clear improvement compared with those that had the title in the lower corner. The cover itself isn’t terrific, but the band is according to Wikipedia regarded by critics as one of the first doom metal albums released. As know too little about the doom metal genre I will not confirm or deny a statement like that, though citation is needed on Wikipedia, but it is released before anything by genre giants like Candlemass or Cathedral.

Inspired by Black Sabbath but more powerful, the opening riff is quite an archetype for the doom metal genre. It was probably a fresh and very exciting album when released, but time hasn’t been particularly good to it and it feels way more dated than some more contemporary releases, and their own later albums as well – this doesn’t have the timeless quality as their best works do. It sounds very much like something from the early eighties, I get the same vibe as from Night on Bröcken or the earliest Fates Warning albums – there are exciting elements there but the albums as a whole aren’t convincing, at least not when looking back at them now many years later.

The title track on this album is quite magnificent, and the riff of The Tempter is one of those that live on through works of other as well as in its own great quality. But much of this album sounds dull, old, and not very great at all. There are flashes of the band that will make some of the best works ever in the doom metal genre, but they were far from there in 1984. This was a debut that showed great promise and introduced a band that would make an impact later in their career, perhaps that impact never earned them immortality even though it should have, they should have earned greater success. The upside for you might be that you will find a new and exciting band from the past, and still be able to pick up nice vinyl records at a decent price.

An enthusiastic debut album that probably appeared a lot more fresh and exciting back when it was released, it didn’t withstand the test of time very well but still offers some flashes of what this great band would do later in their album career. It didn’t stand the test of time particularly well and is far less interesting than other albums in their discography.