Chicago’s doom masters Trouble have been always been of interest to the Christian metal audience due to the overt spiritual lyrical content of their early albums and a pre-Tourniquet Ted Kirkpatrick serving as the touring drummer for the bands 1987 Into the Light tour. It’s been a few years since the band’s Simple= Mind Condition and in that time, there have been a few member changes as well. Longtime frontman Eric Wagner is gone, although he sings for a “Trouble tribute band” called The Skull with Ron Holzner.
Even Wagner’s replacement was sacked, and this time rookie Kyle Thomas is the singer, along with Trouble mainstays Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell on stringed fury and new drummer Marko Lira rounding out the band. Notably, former drummer Jeff “Oly” Olsen plays some keyboards on the album.
Much to my delight, The Distortion Field is much heavier than some of the band’s more recent stoner rock forays, but there still is a good variety of rock and metal showcased within the album. Singer Kyle Thomas brings a raw, biker swagger to the band, which plays nicely with the trademark doom metal. Surprisingly Thomas even wrote almost all of the lyrics, which goes to show how comfortable Trouble is with him at the helm. Standout cuts are the opening war-themed tune “When the Sky Comes Down,” “Hunters of Doom,” and the surprisingly great “Butterflies.” Great to see renowned metal producer Bill Metoyer on hand again for what turned out to be the best Trouble disc in many years.