REVIEW: TRIVIUM – “Silence in the Snow”
‘Silence in the Snow’ is Trivium’s seventh studio album, and the first to feature drummer Mat Madiro after the departure of Nick Augusto in 2014, who performed on the band’s previous two studio albums, ‘In Waves’ (2011) and ‘Vengeance Falls’ (2013). A new record by one of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal’s finest bands always creates anticipation, especially because of the career Trivium has built up since the release of their debut album, 2003’s ‘Ember to Inferno’.
The album’s opening track, “Snofall”, is a naturistic and ethereal minute of music, which is a welcome introduction to the record and Trivium’s general progression as a band. The title track goes into full effect immediately after, with frontman Matt Heafy’s vocals and Madiro’s drumming being at the centre of the track. Many Trivium fans will have heard this track prior to the release of the album, as this is one of three songs released by the band in order to build hype for the record. The song is solid, and will definitely stay on the band’s concert setlists for the foreseeable future.
“Blind Leading the Blind”, the album’s third song, opens with plenty of typical chugging guitar reminiscent of Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’, but unfortunately, its only stand-out moments come with its relatively catchy choruses. The guitar solos between Heafy and Corey Beaulieu are another significant factor to in this track’s noticeable character. Like in ‘Vengeance Falls’, Heafy’s vocals are on top form, which has been a consistent element of Trivium’s discography over the course of the last twelve years.
The album’s next song, “Dead and Gone”, combines melodic vocal elements of metalcore bands such as Bullet for My Valentine and Killswitch Engage alongside the instrumental ferocity of classic thrash bands like Exodus and Megadeth. This song contains the most interesting piece of guitar work the record has seen up until this point. Following “Dead and Gone”, “The Ghost That’s Haunting You” carries on the record’s general theme of melodic instrumentation but with slightly angrier vocals than what has been heard previously on the album. But in general, the song contains plenty of clean Heafy vocals which have come to epitomize ‘Silence in the Snow’ up until this point.
The sixth track “Pull Me from the Void” rides along at a somewhat steady pace, with all sorts of instrumentation fighting for centre-stage at various points throughout the song. The track’s guitar solo is at one point intricate and at another point well-constructed, which along with Madiro’s drumming holding the song together and allows for the solo to be the genuine highlight of the song. My only criticism regarding the track is that it grinds to a sudden halt too quickly, without it gradually decreasing in speed and aggression to reach a legitimate conclusion, which I think would have been more appropriate.
The second half of ‘Silence in the Snow’ opens with the track “Until the World Goes Cold”, which was one of the three aforementioned promotional songs. This song has garnered some criticism from Trivium’s fanbase due to a noticeably overly-melodic vocal style on Heafy’s part, but this does not stop the track from being a good one at that, with surprisingly satisfying vocal lines. “Until the World Goes Cold” is set to be a welcome addition to Trivium’s future setlists, as the track is definitely one of the album’s highlights. Right after that is the next track entitled “Rise Above the Tides”. The song’s choruses are typical Trivium material but with a catchy element, along with some pleasing guitar work from the dual guitar attack of Heafy and Beaulieu. Madiro’s unusual drumming style throughout the track, combined with Heafy’s recognisable vocals, also give the song some individual flavour.
Up next on the album’s list of tracks is “The Thing That’s Killing Me”, which again carries on the theme of Heafy’s consistently clean vocals, but with a different kind of melodic introduction. The general mood of the song gives off a feel which is best described as newer Avenged Sevenfold mixed with melodic death metal instrumentation found in influential groups such as Amon Amarth and Children of Bodom. Given Trivium’s well-documented love of extreme metal, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that there is plenty of melodic Scandinavian metal creeping into this particular track on ‘Silence in the Snow’.
Track ten on the album is “Beneath the Sun”, which contains the heaviest guitar bridge and subsequent solo heard up to this point. The lyrical theme centres on the concept of not being able to hide from a pursuing entity, which is an interesting change from the songs on the album that have come before it. Furthermore, the track stands out as one of the album’s musical pinnacles alongside the title track and “Until the World Goes Cold”.
“Breathe in the Flames” opens with a Metallica-style introduction of a slow-acoustic beginning before launching straight into the traditional Trivium riffing which fans have come to love since the release of their first album. This track will also please Trivium purists who enjoy hearing Matt’s more aggressive vocals, although they are still cleans rather than screams. At times, the track roars along with ferocious pace, which again will satisfy listeners of the album who enjoy Trivium being musically gritty. The song grinds to a halt at the end, closing with a sombre acoustic section to round it all out.
The album’s second-last song, “Cease All Your Fire”, contains one of the record’s best choruses and one that will surely stay in the minds of its listeners long after ‘Silence in the Snow’ has been absorbed by its audience. Beaulieu’s guitar and Madiro’s bursts of drumming perfectly complement each other alongside Paolo Gregoletto’s basslines and Heafy’s unique style of singing strongly influenced by Disturbed vocalist David Draiman. However, ‘Silence in the Snow’ does not contain as much Draiman influence as Trivium’s previous release, ‘Vengeance Falls’.
The album’s closing track is “The Darkness of My Mind”, opening with a slow introduction interrupted by sudden bursts of traditional heaviness before launching the listener straight into infectious metal melodies. “The Darkness of My Mind” contains one of Heafy’s strongest vocals on the entire record, and is an appropriate conclusion to what is a worthwhile addition to the consistent Trivium discography.
Trivium’s new album ‘Silence in the Snow’ is out on October 2, 2015 via Roadrunner Records, and if you like what Trivium has released in the past, then you will enjoy this album as well.