Trial - Are These Our Lives? (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Are These Our Lives? (1999)

Equal Vision

I am of the belief that The Refused's "Shape of Punk to Come" is one of the best hardcore albums ever recorded. It had a bit of everything, and pushed the boundries of what we call punk and hardcore. I think the guys in Trial were listening to it when they decided to add such diversity, dynamics, and beautifully orchestrated strings to their new record, "Are These Our Lifes?" And like the Refused, they created an incredible album. It's powerful, melodic, dark, and poetic. Which is much more than you can say for the crop of faux-hardcore coming out on Victory these days.

(Don't get me wrong, Victory has released some great hardcore, but some of it is just metal without the long hair.)

Suffice to say, it takes either integrity, or massive pretentiousness to stick 'powerful' quotables from notable activist and political figures all over your booklet, but like everything else Trial does, they seem to just exude modesty; the quotes, like their music, are tools for a greater purpose.

I suppose, I could get pretentious now, and talk about artistic-this and poetry-that, but I'll be succint. This is a great, fucking heavy, loud, and angry record. It's a kick in the teeth for the bands who think hardcore is metal, and is more in the spirit of great hardcore bands like Bad Brains, Refused, and Youth of Today. And while it is inspired by this, not by goddamn Obituary, it still maintains an updated, heavy feel. A perfect blend of past and present.

I almost forgot to mention that my girlfriend just adores the string sections.