With a revolving door of drummers over the years, that’s not a million miles away from the legendary Spinal Tap mockumentary, 2017 see’s Trivium re-booted, refreshed, focused and packing a mean collection of tracks that will no doubt see them regain their footing as metal’s most promising rising artists.
Beginning with an eerie intro to the LP’s title track, The Sin and the Sentence opens with the foot very much on the peddle as the Floridan metal crew do their very best to repair the damage and put the naysayers to rest once and for all.
The first thing that is apparent with this album, is ex Dragonlord/Battlecross drummer Alex Bent‘s phenomenal stick-skills. With fills, glore and clockwork precision, Bent lashes out a stampede of blast beats and cymbal work that weave through his impressive kick-pedal ability. Already, it’s apparent that his presence has transformed the bands’ energy tenfold.
What follows is ‘Beyond Oblivion’ which opens with the audio equivalent of getting a broken bottle punched into your face repeatedly. Gang vocals, surging riffs, and Bent’s handy cymbal bell work leads the verse into an infectious and catchy chorus, that you just know is gonna fucking slay in a live situation.
Matt Heafy’s vocals are downright nasty and dripping with a mix of piss and vinegar and are, to be honest, his most confident in a long time, with reference to tone and production, which is a brow-wiping relief considering the obvious influence from Disturbed’s David Draiman on 2015’s ‘Silence in the Snow‘.
‘Other Worlds‘ boasts a punchy intro before a galloping riff takes hold thanks to the efforts of Corey (Beaulieu – guitars) and Paolo (Gregoletto – Bass). Trivium have had a run of mixed reviews from the metal community over the last few albums and let’s not talk about their issues with drummers! There is something that just seems connected, plugged in and right on target with ‘The Sin and Sentence‘. The song structures work on all levels, breakdowns, melodic bursts, mixed guttural and clean, heart-soaring vocals topped with a warm production that is riding on the crest of Paolo and Alex’s rhythm.
‘The Heart From Your Hate‘ has a brain-hacking melody before an almost Andrew Loyde Webber influenced delivery from Heafy on the vocals which begs to be injected with a little more swagger at times. Some interesting key-changes and arrangements flourish here, showing a more confident and boundary-pushing Trivium.
‘Betrayer‘ truly displays the brutal force of Bent’s drumming skills. Almost overshadowing the track itself, the switch between clean and guttural vocals plays heavy here with Heafy doing his best to cover all bases on the vocals offering as much melody as possible during his clean delivery. A Maiden-Esq bridge shows the four-piece tipping their hat to their heroes and works well within the context of the track.
Get ready for the most addictive track on the album, ‘The Wretchedness Inside‘ is a fucking beast! A lurching, stomping battle-cry, that emits a low-end brutality that works on so many levels. Heafy’s ‘FUCK YOU‘ roar at 03.12 gets the hair on the back of your neck a going over before a glorious melodic solo comes to the surface. This is Trivium firing on all cylinders and it’s fucking stunning. It almost makes you wonder if it’s the same band that recorded ‘Silence in the Snow‘!
‘Endless Night‘ takes a step back with one of the bands more mainstream radio-friendly attempts which is practically dripping with the stench of Papa Roach bar the twin guitar solo. A strategic move on the band’s behalf, with intentions to draw attention to a younger mainstream fan base perhaps.
Just when you think that the album is following a trend of crushing heavy verses and clean vocal choruses with Murry/Smith style twin guitar solos ‘Sever The Hand‘ proves you wrong. A strong instrumental middle-section takes the atmosphere to a new level before Heafy brings in the venom spitting vocals.
“Beauty in the Sorrow” comes together with a slow vocal overlay and a pulsing riff that carry’s the album towards the finish line. Trivium offer a multitude of flavors here, and at times it can feel a little ‘over seasoned’ with a busy transformation between melodic sections blending into heavy verses and almost classic rock style middle-eight guitar solos thrown in for good measure.
‘The Revanchist‘ and closing track ‘Thrown into the Fire‘ continue with the same model. Punchy, bass-laden riffs leading way for sparkle-clean choruses built for potential radio interest and then when you think that they are going to ride that wave all the way to the beach, a sharp turn into a dark and beautifully catchy instrumental middle-section, that redeems itself.
The Sin and The Sentence is a welcome return from Trivium who have shown a remarkable transformation into a more mature, and confident band that is not afraid to pick themselves up dust themselves off and venture into heavier territories. Let’s just hope they stay on course this time. 4/5
01. The Sin And The Sentence
02. Beyond Oblivion
03. Other Worlds
04. The Heart From Your Hate
06. The Wretchedness Inside
07. Endless Night
08. Sever The Hand
09. Beauty In The Sorrow
10. The Revanchist
11. Thrown Into The Fire
Overdrive has copies of the new album on CD and Vinyl to give away to some lucky fans. All you have to do is the following:
‘The Sin and The Sentence‘ is released via Roadrunner Records on October 20th. Click here to get your digital copy of the album.
© OVERDRIVE.IE 2017