By 1991 the band was almost ready to self-destruct and Trompe le Monde is the result - another brilliant ground-shaking album but one laced with the tension that must have been in the air in the studio.
By Trompe Le Monde the band had transitioned from seeming like quiet people who liked violent movies to violent people who didn't make much time for movies at all. This is outlaw music, sharpened by conspiracy theory and too much time with too little human contact. "I had me a vision / There wasn't any television / From looking into the sun," Francis sings on Distance Equals Rate Times Time, splitting "sun" into two syllables as though to make sure you heard him and are duly disturbed. He still howls and screams, but had also developed a new voice, a flat, posthuman kind of monotone. Trompe is more aggressive than anything in their catalog but also more confident. They can handle this now, and they do.