UNSW Kensington NSW
April 16, 2016

Trivium 33 Matt Heaffy/Mick Goddard

The line snaking around to get in to the venue was indicative of the ongoing supportive fan base for returning Floridians Trivium. Wandering in after a decent wait, the crowd was a split of under 18’s on the floor to everyone else in the beer garden or upstairs area. It was clear that the range of interest in the band spanned a generation at least and given the tracks being pumped over the PA, it was immediately clear which vintage was in dominance as the chorusus of classic metal tunes were sung and not the verses. Anyway, Trivium fans, diverse as they are, have continued to embrace the band as their latest material from Silence in the Snow has a definite heavier angle to it with lower tuned guitars.

Starting off the night, local band Polaris jumped into their half hour opening set with conviction. The five piece used clean vocals against more guttural screams from their front man to emphasise their metalcore vibe. Hair flinging, complex guitar lines, twin guitar interplay, heavy riffs, breakdowns and an enthused stage presence meant they were putting in the hard yards to win over the crowd. Trotting out material from their ‘Dichotomy’ EP, with slightly atonal introductions and heavier ensuing content, part of their appeal lies with the intricacies of the playing melded together with outright aggression. Looking around at the collection of matching-merchandise adorned younger set, watching earnestly, perhaps the full appreciation was generational. Ending their set with the ‘Regrets’, this reviewer could relate to the song title, having not bothered with a beer garden pass on entering the venue. Such is life but Polaris did a good job at getting the red cordial energy going.

As Megadeth, Slayer and Pantera walloped the PA during the changeover, so did a collection of quick soundchecks from Melbourne’s Orpheus Omega who were soon onstage. Chock full of flying V guitars and a penchant for growled vocals, it was clearly going to be a heavier band. They did not disappoint as on entering the stage, albeit with their backs initially turned on the audience for dramatic effect, the head banging was in full force, even with a keytar in the lineup.

The five piece, twin guitar attack again took to the clean and grumpier vocals approach interlaced with a slew of guitar solos dished out with the aid of a fold back wedge and more than a passing nod to Children of Bodom as an influence. Circle pits soon intermingled with hand-claps but the latter anomaly was dealt with via a wall of death crowd participation moment. For an exercise in witnessing Darwinian evolutionary theory in action, a wall of death mosh pit frenzy offers ample case study data. Jokes aside, the band’s bassist also took the floor during the last song so their sense of humour and audience camaraderie was certainly impressive.

Metallica and Slayer classics screamed across the PA as the final changeover was implemented with military precision. Setting up a stage with a high drum riser, staircases on either side and a clutter free front area, it was obvious that Trivium had moved to the next level of audio professionalism. Their use of amplifier profiling gear, which is becoming commonplace in live settings for bigger acts, allows them to both travel lightly and also free up stage space for better movement during performance.

The lights dimmed, as Iron Maiden’s ‘Run to the Hills’ bounded over the PA to set the mood before  the atmospherics of ‘Snøfall’ from latest album, Silence in the Snow set stark contrast. They soon launched into the album’s title track, at which point the audience felt the power of the PA moving air and hammering eardrums. It was loud and for the entirety of the set that volume level was pretty much the benchmark.

Showing off his tattoos and an Emperor back patched battle jacket, guitar wielding front man Matt Heafy wasted no time in peeling off guitar riffs in unison and in contest with Corey Beaulieu, who sported a backward headstock flying V guitar and the somewhat choreographed sweat-drenched straight, long black hair look. There was no backdrop or artwork at this show, just a drum riser with Paul Wandtke hammering the life out of his kit between drumstick twirls and visually interesting arm crossover techniques. Bassist Paolo Gregoletto, with shaved head and rapid fire fingerstyle attack, locked in with the new drummer and kept things moving as blast beats unleashed.

Enthused by the volume, Heaffy let rip on guitar and leaned back with his tongue out as he peeled off the guitar parts. ‘Strife’ from Vengeance Falls got things even heavier given it was introduced as a point in the evening for the audience to show their dedication to releasing concert energy in competing with other cities on the band’s tour itinerary. Next, ‘Rain’ delivered a galloping double bass drum that moved more air across the venue whilst Matt relished in the use of his wah pedal before the heavy, gated riffs unfolded.

Another track from the latest album, ‘Blind Leading the Blind’, included further drum stick twirls alongside a more melodic guitar approach utilising both guitars that then had Corey concentrating on wielding more punishing riffs. The suspiciously dated sounding ‘Anthem (We Are the Fire)’ was offered as an ode to fans but the solo tradeoffs, floor tom drumming and huge chorus hinted at it being an excuse to have fun with power metal on stage. All it needed was a cowbell but they got away with it and fair enough too given the dynamics the song gives to the set. The song ‘Built to Fall’ from In Waves flew past but halfway through ‘Like Light to the Flies’ from the Ascendancy album, a crowd disturbance piqued the attention of the front man who stopped the song. The was no need to demonstrate any martial arts skills as the disruptive irritant was swiftly dealt with allowing the resumption of the set.

‘Dying in Your Arms’ offered up harmony guitar lines to galloping riffs before ‘Requiem’ from the first album had the riffs pumping. The vocals on the older material was sometimes a tad unclear or woofy over the PA but the energy of the crowd made up for any sonic shortcomings. In celebration of both popularity of the Shogun album in Australia and since it was the last night of their extensive tour, a medley of sorts allowed a bulk of relevant material to be performed. Sections of ‘Throes of Perdition’, ‘Kirisute Gomen’ and ‘Down from the Sky’ was a set highlight plus the execution of the material was precise. Strong choruses, virtuoso playing and solid, unifying crowd interaction meant for a strong effort that suitably ushered in another track from the latest album – ‘Until the World Goes Cold’. That demonstrated a maturity not just in songwriting but in guitar solos as Corey’s had more nuance and expression to it than more of the over the top shredding on display earlier in the set.

‘Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr’ closed the main set and took a turn into drum solo land. Much like an octopus, Paul’s drumming was furiously fast with an entertaining drum lesson and suitable poses to add effect. Briefly vacating the stage, the band returned to bombastic glory to close the entire set with the huge title track from their In Waves release. Encouraging a mammoth circle pit with the usual banter of competing against other cities on the national tour run, the crowd went off as instructed. As Trivium completed their set with abrupt power and proceeded to throw out souvenir plectrums to the crowd, Motörhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ filled the venue whilst the house lights went up. Quite simply, Trivium have matured in leaps and bounds and lost none of their infectious, youthful energy in the process. A welcome visitor to our shores, yet again the band put on a stellar live show that packed in musicianship galore within a tight 100 minutes of metal.

Silence in the Snow
Into the Mouth of Hell We March
Blind Leading the Blind
Anthem (We Are the Fire)
Built to Fall
Like Light to the Flies
Dying in Your Arms
Throes of Perdition
Kirisute Gomen
Down from the Sky
Until the World Goes Cold
Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr

Capsizing the Sea
In Waves