If you haven’t already heard, Trivium have released their eighth album – The Sin And The Sentence – to the world. I have been taking it for a non-stop spin since receiving it. To put it simply, it gets better every time I hear it.
The new album comes on the heels of Silence in The Snow which was a massive change in direction for the band. It spawned the hits Until The World Goes Cold and Dead and Gone. The melodic, clean vocals divided opinions on where they were going. Concerns were voiced that they may not return to the harsh vocals and aggressive metal sound they had built their career on.
Trivium are very good in building up their releases, and The Sin and The Sentence is no different. They gave us three songs before the actual release which was definitely enough to pique interest nicely. For those who were clamouring with a return to more aggressive sounding riffs and vocalist Matt Heafy’s screams, the single The Sin and The Sentence would have them frothing at the mouth. Heart From Your Hate carried on the …Silence sound and then Betrayer, released a couple of days before the album, had all the metalheads in my family really excited about the album drop.
My sons, Sam and Alex were the ones who introduced me to Trivium. I wasn’t heavily into screaming at that time so they began my journey with The Crusade. I was told I was listening to a new Metallica song which was really Detonation. Gullible much? In my defence, Matt Heafy did sound similar to James Hetfield in that song, but in less than a minute I commented that the guitar playing was much quicker and tighter than what Metallica was producing.
Shogun provided enough singing alongside the viscousness of Heafy’s screams and I found I didn’t mind it. Songs like Into the Mouth of Hell, Down From the Sky, Throes of Perdition and Shogun itself became staples on my playlist. I was amazed by the technical brilliance and song writing abilities of the early albums Ascendancy and Ember to Inferno for such a young band and was completely down with the screamed vocals by that stage.
Trivium were firmly fixed as a band that was right up there alongside Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Rage as staples for me and I have followed their career ever since. Soundwave Festival, 2010 was the first time the boys and I got to experience Trivium live, they were a must see for us that day. After that amazing performance in a dustbowl I was hooked, and we have been to see them every time they return to Australia.
For The Sin and The Sentence the band seems to have gone through their back catalogue for inspiration for this album as there is a mix of everything from Ember to Inferno right through to Silence In The Snow. This album has a good mix of their more aggressive sound and a number of tracks that will make them more accessible to other fans.
The title track and opener takes you by the throat and doesn’t let go. This is Trivium at their finest, kicking off with breakneck drumming from new sticksman Alex Bent, overlaid with little licks before the heavy riffage commences and Heafy’s vocals kick in. The vocal work he has done over the years really is paying dividends as Heafy’s clean vocals sound so much stronger. Then when the bridge kicks in, Heafy’s screaming is back and it sounds so good.
Beyond Oblivion is next up and keeps the up tempo sound going. The song has all the trademarks of a classic song, powerful drumming, deep and resonant bass track, gang vocals, a sing along chorus, and massive solos. I can see this one being added to the set list and becoming a crowd favourite. Corey Beaulieu has moved away from providing the screams this time as it is all Heafy, he now is able to focus on his guitar work which is exquisite throughout.
Other Worlds is mostly clean vocals. It does show off Heafy’s improved vocal range particularly the harmonies over Paolo Gregoletto’s bass bridge midway through the song. The song could easily be released as a single at some point and provides a crossover opportunity to keep the fans that were introduced to Trivium through Silence…
Heart From Your Hate sounds like it could’ve been pulled from that last album but works well as a softer song in the midst of this frenetically-paced album. Betrayer was released just before the album release and provides a hurricane of fury right from the start with a visceral scream from Beaulieu then a frantic lick over the top of some bombastic drumming.
Songs like The Wretchedness Inside, Sever The Hand, The Revanchist and Thrown Into The Fire ensure the assault on the senses is not finished and provide what older school Trivium fans would have been looking for in this album. Endless Night and Beauty in the Sorrow are a couple more of the accessible songs and work well and wouldn’t have looked out of place on Vengeance Falls.
So for me, Trivium has produced one of their finest albums to date with this offering. It is a blending of their styles from albums past and they have done it very well. I’m not normally a rating type person but this would be looking at a 9/10 for this release. I am hanging to see these new songs woven into the new set list and can’t wait for the guys to announce they’re on their way back to the land Down Under because I know I’ll be there.
As my introduction to Trivium was through my boys I am leaving the last words to them. Do they concur with my views? Alex added that The Sin and The Sentence, Beyond Oblivion and Sever the Hand could all be on Shogun and not be out of place, which is the highest praise he can give (he loves Shogun). He gives it a solid 8/10. Sam really likes the album and says that Matt’s screams seem more solid and the guitar work on this album is definitely more interesting than Silence.
There you have it. The Sin and The Sentence is out now through Roadrunner Records/Warner Music Australia. Grab yourself a copy, you won’t be disappointed.