I thought today I would give the new Trivium album, titled “Silence In The Snow” a spin.
Formed at High School in Florida back in 1999, the band’s line-up for their first album release featured singer / guitarist Matt Heafy, drummer Travis Smith and bassist Brent Young.
Additional guitar was supplied by Corey Beaulieu for the recording of the outfit’s debut album “Ember To Inferno” in 2003, and he joined the band full-time shortly afterwards .
Young was replaced on bass by Paolo Gregoletto in 2004, prior to recording of “Ascendancy” and a slot on the bill at the following year’s Download Festival saw the band start to attract serious attention.
The Metallica-like album “The Crusade” came out in 2006 and was the band’s first top thirty album in the US, and reached number seven here in the UK. Fanbase opinion was split by that album as it was the first Trivium album to feature clean vocals and no harsh vocals at all, a marked change from the previous releases. On top of this common consensus seems to be that Heafy sounds a little too like Metallica’s James Hetfield for comfort. Nonetheless, the band’s success and popularity were definitely on the up.
2008’s “Shogun” was musically along the same lines as “The Crusade” but featured the return of Heafy’s harsh vocal style. Undoubtedly their strongest album to that point, number one son and I witnessed the band perform live in Bristol on the subsequent world tour, by which time the drum stool had been taken over by Nick Augusto.
The new line-up (Heafy, Beaulieu, Gregoletto & Augusto) were responsible for the next two studio albums, “In Waves” (2011) and “Vengeance Falls” (2013). On these records the group tried to move slightly away from the complex songwriting and musicianship found on “The Crusade” and “Shogun” and popularity-wise the band continued on an upwards trend.
Augusto left the band mid-way through 2014 and has since been replaced by current drummer Mat Madiro who appears on the new album. Just a few days after Augusto’s departure the band had to cancel tour dates when Heafy’s voice gave out requiring a period of rest and recuperation.
With Heafy having taken some vocal coaching in the meantime, and the promise of clean vocals alone again, what does the band’s seventh album sound like? Will it take the band further forward? Will it be divisive just as “The Crusade” was?
Well, lead single “Silence In The Snow” shows Heafy’s new and improved vocal range on top of some superbly heavy riffing. Along with the two other singles released – “Blind Leading The Blind” and “Until The World Goes Cold” – the band seem to be in similar sonic territory to the likes of Alter Bridge now rather than Metallica.
Whether this is a good thing or not will depend on the taste on the listener. For myself, it’s almost like listening to a different band in a way. And perhaps that’s the key. This isn’t really comparable to the band’s previous work, especially the earlier stuff, as this record is far more melodically based than before.
Standout cuts on the album, to my ears, are “Pull Me From The Void”, “Silence In The Snow”, “The Ghost That’s Haunting You” and “The Thing That’s Killing Me”.
Will this be Trivium’s commercial breakthrough to the really big time as Metallica’s self-titled 1991 album was for them? Maybe. Who can tell in this day and age what will sell and what won’t? The record is certainly more accessible and immediate than the group’s previous albums and, taken as a piece of work on its own merits, really is a very good heavy metal album…
Snøfall / 2. Silence In The Snow / 3. Blind Leading The Blind / 4. Dead And Gone / 5. The Ghost That’s Haunting You” / 6. Pull Me From The Void” / 7. Until The World Goes Cold” / 8. Rise Above The Tides / 9. The Thing That’s Killing Me / 10. Beneath The Sun / 11. Breathe In The Flames / 12. Cease All Your Fire / 13. The Darkness Of My Mind