Review: Trivalent – A Universe

If you don’t get what’s happening on that album cover, all four of the schemas, then you won’t get the album. That doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the music, just that you wouldn’t get it, it’s concept and all. The album represents in music the birth, life, and death of a universe, our universe, through the various stages of what we believe happened, and will happen in the future. Now, le me nerd out for a second here while I explain the album cover and track titles. If you want to read about the music, just skip a paragraph or two!

So the album represents four pretty classic science schemas. On the top left, there is a Nitrogen (N) atom nucleus undergoing β (beta) decay and decaying to, probably, Oxygen, although it could lead to Carbon, too. Two particles are emitted, an electron and an electron antineutrino. The omission of the mediator boson (W- in this case) is probably only for clarity reasons. Then, on the top right, we are shown the first half (and it’s reversed, too) of the famous Feynman diagram for an electron-positron annihilation, giving away a gamma ray photon. The half we do not see represents the creation of a quark-antiquark pair, with the emission of a gluon by the antiquark. On the bottom left, we see the representation of a baryon, with three hadrons in it. The two colours most probably represent the electric charge of these hadrons and, depending on which charge you attribute to which colour, +2/3 (u) or -1/3 (d), it could be a proton (uud) or a neutron (udd). Finally, on the bottom right, it’s basically just a planet, or planetoid, orbiting a star, or another planet, or even a black hole, who knows!? I just know it couldn’t be an electron orbiting an atom core, just because it would be so outdated of a representation that I think Zachary Comito (the Trivalent guy), would lose all nerd credibility.

As for the tracks on the album, it begins with the – should I say controversial – (nothing). In fact, no one has proven anything about what might’ve been before the Big Bang, and some even say we are to never know! So it’s really up to him and I’ve got no problem with that. Then we jump to Big Bang Singularity, which is one of the most popular scientific terms and concepts. Where all began… some say. After that comes Inflation, where the universe jumped in about a nonillionth of a second from about 10^-50 to 10^-10 meters in radius. To put that in perspective, that’s as if a tennis ball (about 10^-1 meter diameter) expanded to about twice the size of the universe (10^52 meters) in an instant. Pretty intense. The fourth song is Baryogenesis, when the baryon-antibaryon asymmetry was created (and why we live in a world of matter, and not anti-matter). After that, Nucleosynthesis/Recombination occurred, which is the creation of elements heavier than Hydrogen, and that happened from 10 seconds to 20 minutes after the Big Bang, to put things in perspective… Recombination, is the process of electrons and protons being bound together to form atoms, and that started 379 000 years after the BB! Then we jump to Reionization, where the Hydrogen atoms in the universe underwent, you guessed it, reionization. This began 150 000 000 years after the BB, so things are beginning to spread out a little, and it’s the time where the universe stopped being opaque, and the first lights we can see come from that epoch. The next song titles are pretty much self-explanatory: Galaxy Formation, and Life, the latter of which we find ourselves in at the moment. Then comes Stellar Degeneration, the process of the death of stars in the universe. After that Proton Decay happens, although this is still hypothetical, and protons decay into lighter subatomic particles. After this comes Black Hole Evaporation, a process unimaginably slow, where black holes give up small particles to eventually evaporate completely. Finally comes the Heat Death of the universe, where all energy is lost into heat gradually so that in the end absolutely no energy is left for any process whatsoever. That’s only one of the projected ends of our universe, and it’s pretty terrifying, but we’ll never get to see it (most probably). The very last track on the album is The Last Question, and Asimov nerds will get it, that’s all I can say

Okay, now to the music! At times there’s a pretty big Mestis vibe, which is pretty cool because I’ve rarely got to see something similar to them. But it’s quite fleeting. The most notable example is the song Inflation in which latin-ish clean guitar plays over some chuggadjent, and it’s pretty good! Most of the time, even though it’s not that Mestis-y, it’s still really good and enjoyable. There’s really good clean guitar, great riffing, good bass guitar too! The song construction is good and reflects the song title, in some way, but it’s almost always hard to tell when it comes to art. But when you know it’s a bit easier. The production is really good, too. The only bémol on the album might be the drums. Sure, they are programmed, but that’s no different than about 90% of the bands nowadays, and almost 100% of one-man-bands. But over this kind of music, where the drums play an important role as a feel-o-meter, it should be primordial to put a lot of effort into fine-tuning your drum programming so that they don’t sound obviously programmed. Minor things like messing up velocities and timing a bit, just a slight bit, can improve your drum sound a lot. But, unless you’re a drumhead you probably won’t even notice it here.

In the end, A Universe is a great and fun album, it’s quite refreshing, and full nerdy. And free, go get it!