Roadrunner Records [Release date 02.10.15]
This album sees a number of firsts for Trivium, the main ones being that this is the first album to feature new drummer Mat Madiro and, more notably, it is the first album to feature Matt Heafy’s new ‘clean’ vocals throughout.
Matt recently realised that he does actually have a good singing voice which has always added weight to the many killer choruses the band have produced over the years. Usually this is used sparingly between his trademark metal growls which have been a feature of the band from the beginning. It is a brave move then to shun the traditional style and go totally clean, so to speak.
Listening to the album the first thing that strikes you is how good his voice is, especially when you think of the years of abuse it has suffered! The title track kicks things off after a short intro piece and what a track it is. ‘Silence In The Snow’ contains all the Trivium standards, great melodies and harmonies over a solid, killer riff with a soaring chorus. ‘Blind Leading The Blind’ follows again featuring excellent twin guitar work from Heafy and Corey Beaulieu.
‘Dead And Gone’ then slows things down with a plodding, bass heavy rhythm which sounds like Godzilla coming up your front path, literally a monster of a track. Other tracks of note are the fast paced ‘Pull Me From The Void’ and the epic ‘Until The World Goes Cold’ which was one of a number of tracks released as a taster prior to the album release date.
Of the eleven tracks on the album (13 if you get the deluxe version) all are top quality and despite Heafy lightening up on the vocal front all are most definitely hard and heavy. So what of the vocal change? For me the new style is a step forward for the band and one that may perhaps make them more accessible. Whether it is a step too far for the older fans is yet to be seen, but I see it as a natural progression from the last two albums, ‘In Waves’ and ‘Vengeance Falls’.
On a critical note though for me the production and final mix of the album does rob it of some of its impact. This was thrown into sharp focus when after the last track on ‘Silence In The Snow’ the car stereo kicked into ‘Brave This Storm’, the opening track from ‘Vengeance Falls’. The sound on the last album was huge with a real punch where as things are a bit muted in comparison on ‘Silence…’. The mix and production is not that bad but it just lacks that extra something for me.
No matter though as this album marks the start of a new era for Trivium, and what a way to start! I have followed Trivium for many years and have seen them live many times, but I always felt there was something missing. It all finally clicked for me on the last tour when the guys blew Killswitch Engage off the stage in Glasgow, which is no easy task, and with this album they continue to impress.
They may have lost their growl but they most definitely still have plenty of bite. ****1/2
Review by David Wilson
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Power Plays w/c 3 December 2018
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