Trivium are pretty much the marmite of modern metal. Since their breakthrough album Ascendancy, the band have been scrutinized ever since for sounding too much like Metallica (The Crusade), not being screamy enough (The Crusade, Vengeance Falls) and er, not being ‘metal’ enough in general.
Well, bollocks to all of that quite frankly. Trivium have never succumbed to fads, or what is most popular at the time, and this couldn’t be more evident than with their seventh studio album, Silence In The Snow. Verging on power metal, Trivium’s latest offering is packed full of classic heavy metal riffs, huge anthemic choruses and more air guitar worthy solos than you can shake a stick at.
Cinematic orchestral opener ‘Snofall’ (composed by Emperor legend Ihsahn) creates a mythical and intense atmosphere which launches into the triumphant and ballsy Dio-style riff of ‘Silence In The Snow’. Originally written for Shogun, the track showcases Matt Heafy‘s impressive operatic vocals and fantastical lyrics of battle, like Game of Thrones-turned-metal. Dual-guitar harmony lead ‘Blind Leading The Blind’ is reminiscent of Iron Maiden, with its galloping riffs and soaring melodic chorus, whilst ‘Until The World Goes Cold’ is a modern fists-in-the-air hard rock song.
‘Dead and Gone’ is one of the album’s heavier tracks and continues the balls-out straight up metal sound previously heard on Vengeance Falls, but with an eerie edge with the use of reverse reverb vocal effects and low drop-tuned guitars. Highlight ‘The Thing That’s Killing Me’ contains more of the brilliant twin guitar solos we’ve come to expect from axe-wielders Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu, as well as the riffs and melodies which are distinctly Trivium. Final track ‘Breathe In The Flames’ switches things up a bit, starting with a clean guitar intro which quickly turns into a blistering onslaught of crushing guitars and pounding drums.
Those hoping for the return of Heafy’s trademark roar on this album, prepare to be disappointed as Silence In The Snow is 100% scream-free. At times this does feel like a bit of a shame, but what we are rewarded with instead is plenty of singalong choruses which showcase just how powerful the frontman’s voice has gotten over the years. This guy can really sing, and if he would rather not blow his voice out by screaming for the sake of it, then so what?
Fuelled and inspired by classic metal greats from Black Sabbath to Judas Priest, Trivium have taken these influences and put them in a melting-pot blended in with their own distinct flavour. The result is an album with depth, strong songwriting and at times, technical brilliance, showing the band’s natural evolution from thrash-influenced metalcore to a more mature and refined sound. Whilst not a ‘classic’ and let down slightly by a lack of variety – some more fast-paced songs would have been nice to balance out the slow and mid-tempo numbers – this is a solid heavy metal album. It’s guaranteed to polarise opinion, and is more of a grower than a shower, but Trivium have made the album they wanted to make and should be commended for being prepared to take a risk.