Trouble

Run to the Light

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Following a two year hiatus which saw them ushering in a new rhythm section, Chicago's Trouble returned to recording in 1987, and emerged with what would prove to be their third and final album for Metal Blade, Run to the Light. And, to fans of a band that had previously staunchly subscribed to the sonic aesthetic of early-'70s heavy metal, the synthesizers used on the album's opening number, "The Misery Shows," seemed like a troubling admission of the '80s encroaching technological reality. Luckily, those church organ-like synths really were just an introduction, after which both that song and its aptly named follow-up, "Thinking of the Past," quickly reestablished Trouble's familiar guitar-riff-centric blueprint of old -- albeit at unprecedented high speeds. That blueprint (fast and doom-slow) continued to hold sway thereafter, with just a little more synth-play (this time intoning the death march!) to be found prefacing the convoluted "On Borrowed Time" (which sounded like several song ideas clumsily mashed together) and, later on, closer "The Beginning" (featuring baroque, Munsters-inspired harpsichords). In between, Trouble balanced a pair of decidedly average offerings in "Born in a Prison" and "Tuesday's Child," with another pair of stellar ones; namely the face-melting, six-string tour de force of peacenik anthem "Peace of Mind," and the somber majesty of the part-acoustic, part electric power chord monolith of a title track. Sadly, Run to the Light's uneven song selection and befuddling commercial failure brought Trouble to the edge of a precipice from which they'd only just manage to step back from -- in triumphant fashion, one should note -- a whole three years later, thanks to their stunning eponymous comeback album for Def American.

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