Trivium - Vengeance Falls Album Review

rating: 4

After Trivium blew onto the post-Nu Metal scene in 2005, they helped define the metalcore genre. While Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold etc, have since faded into a husk of what they once were, Trivium are still testing what the barriers of metalcore actually are and have produced an outstanding body of work that can be seen, in many ways, as the coming of age for the band. Trivium have pushed past the barrier they established with their sophomore release, Ascendancy. After they kick-started somewhat of a metal renaissance, it then became somewhat fashionable to bash Trivium and these other bands based on their "one bad album", The Crusade. And sadly, this continues in small pockets today. It took another two other releases to win their fans back, myself included, and 2011's In Waves was a statement that Trivium had returned to form. With that bit of history and context out of the way, let's look at Vengeance Falls. Straight off the bat, this is a great piece of music. I firmly believe that this is one of the greatest metalcore albums of recent times. Trivium have nothing left to prove to anyone. This entire album was a sleeper hit for me, and like a lot of people, I was still recovering from the great effort of In Waves. I was sure this album would be good but at no point did I think that it would be this good. The ten tracks of the standard release, thirteen tracks on the Special Edition, ensured that I was in for a surprise. First of all, the production quality is top-notch: everything on the album can be heard with perfect clarity. That is in no small part to Disturbed frontman David Draiman who produced the album. For fans of Matt Heafy's death metal vocals, be warned that these are almost totally gone from this release. Heafy opts for a clean and melodic approach over screaming. His heavier vocals are saved for breakdowns in various songs. This was a brave move, after The Crusade, but it really works here. In short, he is stellar. The opening dual tracks set the tone of the album with frantic riff based tracks that serve as a departure from the standard Trivium death metal vocals and trashy pacing of Ascendancy or In Waves. Brave This Storm and Vengeance Falls also introduce catchy choruses and melodic riffs as the centre points for every song on the album rather than tuning as low as you can so you can "be more metal than the other guy." Right, Born Of Osiris? Melody and thematic driven songwriting is the name of the game on this one. Several of the heavier offerings tend to bleed into the epic twin corpora of At The End of this War and the incredible standard release closer Wake (The End Is Night). Every track on the album will surprise you, and truly, there is something here for everyone. A quick word here regarding the rhythm section, the bass/drums combo that Trivium have as of late is perfect. Paolo Gregoletto's efforts are restrained but tasteful; he underscored the most creative that you can be as a bassist in this genre of music without going too far and overpowering the song. Check out No Way To Heal and the eerie intro for Villainy Thrives for proof of this. The Special Edition is a must buy for the awesome No Hope For The Human Race, as it might be one of the best songs on the entire album, if for nothing else than the riffs contained within its bridge. These ten tracks will leave no doubt that this new Trivium have matured, sound as confident as they tried to be with The Crusade and Shogun and have finally fully grown as musicians. Trivium have reinvented and revitalised the genre and broke with the dismal trend of current age metal to produce something just as glorious and refreshing as Ascendancy. This is an essential purchase for any fan of the genre, and for any fan that still hasn't forgiven Trivium for The Crusade or any metal fan in general. Essential Songs: Vengeance Falls, Villainy Thrives, At the End of This War, No Hope For The Human Race (Special Edition) Trivium Vengeance Falls is out now on Roadrunner Records. Release Date: 14th October 2013
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Roman Historian, computer nerd, Freelance Journalist, Podcaster, Star Wars Fanboy, and a Sci-fi/Horror ├╝ber fan with a soft spot for awesomely terrible films. Host of the weekly Wrestleview International Desk radio show on Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DarraghWV.