Since their (ahem) ascendancy in 2004, Florida’s Trivium have ingratiated themselves on the global metal audience with a series of albums that, while never truly groundbreaking or earth-shattering, have certainly shown them to be more than capable of creating good solid catchy melodic heavy metal.
They aren’t a bad band by any means, and consistency and a knack for not being entirely predictable has won them a legion of fans. Many of those fans were probably tearing their hair out in desperation when it was announced that Disturbed’s David Draiman would be producing Trivium’s latest album.
Any fears they may have had should be allayed when the first riff of ‘Brave This Storm’ tears out of the silence. Vengeance Falls is very much a Trivium album with all their inherents traits well in place – catchy riffs, blazing solos and Matt Heafy’s keen melodic sense. Draiman’s influence is most directly seen in two significant areas – more streamlined song writing and the tweaking of Heafy’s always problematic vocals. The try-hard death growls and Hetfield-inspired barks that have plagued his performances before have been restrained and refined, creating a style that is finally close to something of his own, and it shows. Matt Heafy has never sounded so comfortable before, and it gives the music added impetus across the album. Musically, too, the songs have benefited from Draiman’s association. Gone is the ragged cut-and-pasting of riffs that left otherwise sterling efforts like Shogun flawed and in its place are smoother and less-predictable transitions. The opener and the title track both kick in with a speed metal intensity before easing into a groove; others like ‘Villainy Thrives’ embody a hair metal vibe until the introduction of Trivium’s patented post-Gothenburg rhythmic machine. Spiralling twin lead guitars define tracks like ‘No Way to Heal’ and the lock-step rhythm section is rock solid as always.
While not offering any real surprises, Vengeance Falls is Trivium’s most focused collection yet, an album of driving, dynamic and groove-ridden tunes that will more than please the fans and perhaps even win over some of their long-standing doubters.
1. Brave This Storm
2. Vengeance Falls
4. No Way to Heal
5. To Believe
6. At the End of This War
7. Blood Dirt Bone
8. Villainy Thrives
10. End is Nigh