On Oct. 5, alternative hip-hop duo Twenty One Pilots released their fifth studio album, “Trench,” the first since their hit record “Blurryface” in 2015.
This album heads toward the mainstream in the introductory song, “Jumpsuit,” with a more raw instrumental sound, which pleasantly surprised me. The guitar was something that the duo hasn’t really incorporated in their songs before.
The whole album tells a story based in the city of Dema ruled by nine “bishops,” which is explained in the song, “Nico and the Niners.” This one reminded me of “Message Man” from “Blurryface” with its reggae beat. Nico was revealed to be Blurryface. The entire concept of telling a story across multiple albums is completely brilliant.
Going along with their other albums is the theme of suicide and mental health. This theme is especially prevalent in “Neon Gravestones,” which attacks the glorification of suicide in the media and actually praises those who choose to live through life instead of deciding on an early gravestone as an option.
If you missed hearing the piano and the iconic ukulele that you have come to know and love from Twenty One Pilots, you won’t be disappointed. The piano shines through in the ballad of the album, “Bandito,” as well as “Neon Gravestones,” which gives off haunted “Piano Sonata No. 14” vibes. The ukulele makes its first appearance toward the middle of the album in “The Hype.”
Unlike their other albums, “Trench” feels like it’s moving toward something, but ultimately leaves you hanging and makes you feel like there should be more with “Leave the City.” This goes along with the theme of mental illness and suicide in which someone who is suffering may never feel complete.
This record is one that you need to listen to from beginning to end several times for it to fully sink in. When I first listened to the album, I watched the music videos, which helped to better understand the story that Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun wanted their fans to grasp.
With their rise to popularity and ever-growing cult following, I almost turned away from Twenty One Pilots, but this album brought me back. Their unique sound and heartfelt lyrics have always been something that drew me to this band, but the story being told in “Trench” made me a fan for life.