Review: Trench by Twenty-One Pilots

After their last album ‘Blurryface’ was released in 2015, Twenty One Pilots returns with the conceptual album ‘Trench’.

The American duo, Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph, returns with a more cohesive and mature fifth album. After a break on social media last year, they decided to create unexpected album. Indeed, Tyler said in an interview for Beats 1 ‘sometimes it’s hard to just start creating’, but the bet seems successful. Indeed, the releases of the marketing music videos ‘Jumpsuit’, ‘Levitate’, and ‘My Blood’ have hit the charts. They have already reached 39 million views on YouTube.

As a continuity to ‘Blurryface’, they still explore themes surrounding insecurity, faith, and mental illness by framing them within the conceptual world of Trench. The whole album is about a fictional destination, the walled city of Dema, ruled over by nine bishops who keep its population suppressed. Josh and Tyler have shifted from a character-based concept, Blurryface, to an entire world. They wanted to understand and dissect people around them. During the conception of the album, it appeared essential to Tyler to dive deep. Trench also expresses comments about the music and the decisions made in it.

Twenty One Pilots’s style is mainly alternative rock and rap rock but they also combine hip-hop, reggae, techno, and indie pop. Trench reflects all these eclectic styles and it matches the songs well. The dystopian narrative is clearly the best they have done since now, and we can even hear the story in the musical continuity between the songs. The opening song of the album, ‘Jumpsuit’, is similar to the fuzzing guitar riffs of The Black Keys. It ends by Joseph screaming the chorus as a sign of his distress: ‘I crumble underneath the weight / Pressures of a new place roll my way’. It fades into the next song of the album ‘Levitate’. With the only love song ‘Smithereens’, everything shatters and it frames the way to the punchy rap song ‘Neon Gravestones’, exploring the reasons for suicide and describing how the media glorifies famous people after they die: ‘an earlier grave is an optional way. No.’ In ‘Nico and the Niners’ there is a lighter vibe as Joseph alternates between rapping and singing. As the final climax track, ‘Bandito’, the insurrectionary organization enters the story.

These cryptic stories cover the prevalent issues of anxiety, depression, and suicide prove Twenty One Pilots are an urgent and vital band.

People who have seen them on stage know that they have a huge tendency to be completely off their rocker. It’s sheer lunacy. They will give three Wembley Arena concerts in London on 7th, 8th, and 9th March 2019. Maybe you will have the chance to carry the drum which is moving around above the crowd.