Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Review; Trivium - Vengeance Falls

Track Listing:

1. Brave This Storm
2. Vengeance Falls
3. Strife
4. No Way To Heal
5. To Believe
6. At The End Of This War
7. Through Blood And Dirt And Bone
8. Villainy Thrives
9. Incineration: The Broken World
10. Wake (The End Is Nigh)

Trivium is one band that I have taken a great interest in since hearing their 2005 album 'Ascendancy'. Back then, Trivium were the band most tipped to hit the big leagues of the metal world. They were playing Ozzfest, Download Festival and supporting an array of bands including Machine Head and Fear Factory. However, the follow-up album 'The Crusade' was widely accepted to be a lesser record by far. It seemed to stunt the band's progress greatly, and even the sublimely intricate 'Shogun', released in 2008, didn't get the band back on quite the same upward trajectory that they deserved. Recent album, the less-thrash-more-metalcore 'In Waves' is commonly accepted to be the closest the band had gotten to the sound of the 'Ascendancy' album, but despite the standout songs 'In Waves', 'Watch The World Burn' and 'Black', something was missing, as far as I was concerned. It's now, with the unexpectedly David Draiman produced sixth album 'Vengeance Falls' that the collective eye of the metal community focuses on the Florida four-piece.

As soon as 'Brave This Storm' hits things into high gear, it's clear that the band have leaned more towards the thrash metal influences they've cited. Memorable riffs and catchy-as hell vocals combine to lay down a gauntlet to the listener. Trivium mean business, but it's more than usual. The title track continues this showcase well, with a chorus that I swear will be stuck in my head for decades. Lyrically it sounds like one motherfucker of a mission statement.

Matt Heafy's vocals have been a major talking point about this record. The vocal harmonies and impressive, improved range in his singing voice are clear and well displayed throughout the whole album, though there are some seriously low notes at the start of 'Wake (The End Is Nigh) that may take many people aback, myself included. There is something in the melodies and changes in notes used at several parts of the record that do make it obvious that the Disturbed frontman's vocal lessons have had a hell of an impact on Heafy's singing. Would I go as far to say that he's copying Draiman? No. He's got his own voice and he's used it now to better effect than ever.

The biggest thing about this record is the hooks. They're unreal. Some people may say that they're shamelessly hooky, but as far as I'm concerned; this is a band that now needs to reach that next level, and if they've set out to do that, they've done so remarkably well, but with a sense of originality and credibility. This feels like an evolution of Trivium's catalogue of music. This is not a shift in their sound. They haven't leapt away from their established sound. They haven't sold out. They're showing potential to headline much larger venues in future, and they're doing it on their own terms. (Unlike a certain other 2000's metal band has done recently! Don't worry, the A7X review is on it's way).

People said this about 'In Waves', as I previously mentioned, but I believe that due to the concise nature of tracks like 'Strife', 'No Way To Heal', and 'Villainy Thrives' that this record is the one that sees Trivium back on track, creatively. In a similar fashion to this year's Killswitch Engage album 'Disarm The Descent', 'Vengeance Falls' finds Trivium putting the mainstream metal scene to rights after all this time. Hopefully this will shift the scene away from the boring, trendy, dime-a-dozen bands like Bullet For My Valentine, Asking Alexandria and Black Veil Brides. Trivium are putting the hard work and the hunger back into metal. They're reminding us what makes good metal songs, impressive guitar solos and ultimately what makes for the kind of band that I reckon deserves to be headlining festivals in the not-too-distant future.


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