This Trivium article was written by Amit Mohan, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse
US metallers Trivium are back with their seventh studio album ‘Silence in the Snow’. Having broken onto the scene with their critically acclaimed sophomore album ‘Ascendancy’ in 2005, Trivium have become one of the frontrunners in todays modern metal, having supported acts such as Metallica and Iron Maiden, as well as headlining second stage at Download Festival, and just this year headlining UK metalfest Bloodstock.
‘Silence in the Snow’ is the first Trivium album that uses fully clean vocals, a move which is sure to generate a new fan base as well as isolate a lot of older fans. The album was inspired by the late Ronnie James Dio, after seeing Heaven and Hell live in 2007 when they were touring Japan. It was this performance that inspired lead singer Matt Heafy to want to be able to sing well.
Opening single ‘Silence in the Snow’ was written back in 2007, around the time they were recording their forth album ‘Shogun’. It is evident that it was written in this era, as the song brings back the 7-string guitar with an open chugging riff that is reminiscent of ‘Shogun’, albeit a lot simpler. The chorus of this song is very ‘power-metal’, overly catchy and simple, with the emphasis on Matt’s excellent vocal melodies.
The second track is ‘Blind Leading the Blind’. This song is the most familiar Trivium sound on the record, with the main guitar riff sounding like ‘Inception of the End’ from fifth album ‘In Waves’. One of the stronger songs on the album, this track encapsulates all of the Trivium sound, barre the screaming vocals.
‘Dead and Gone’ opens with a guitar-riff which could’ve been on an early Korn album. Using low-tuned guitars, this is a new sound for Trivium, and is the heaviest track on the album. It features a new higher pitched harsh-clean thrash style vocal from Matt.
Fifth track ‘The Ghost That’s Haunting You’ is a very groovy track, with an open chug style riff over a hard rock drum beat. The chorus “what have I done, what have I become?” is beautifully sung by Matt. Five tracks in and it is clearly evident that Matt has stepped up his clean vocals.
The pace slows down with ‘Pull Me from the Void’. It contains an opening riff which is sounds like an ode to Iron Maiden, with a very 80’s metal vibe. The slow-pace continues with the next track ‘Until The World Goes Cold’, a track they released as a single and was welcomed with a very mixed review. The track is very simple by Trivium’s standards, with an open chug guitar and generic rock drums. The focus on this track is melody, it is a song written to get radio-play, and it will, yet it is one of the weakest tracks on the album.
It doesn’t stop there; next track ‘Rise Above The Tides’ is easily forgettable. Where there are some highlights and catchy moments in other parts of the album, there is nothing that makes this track memorable or stand out at all. Generic double bass drums, boring riffs and a simple melodic chorus. Even the solo section is pretty weak on this one, a definite ‘filler’ track.
The pace slightly picks up again with ‘The Thing That’s Killing Me’, it starts off promising with a Machine Head style guitar opening riff, with an 80’s metal guitar melody. But directly after the intro, the pace slows down again as soon as the vocals hit, very anti-climactic. From what started promising, ends badly. The chorus is sung well, but it is just the song title sung over and over again. The guitar solo section in this song is much better, which is the highlight of this track.
The next track, ’Beneath The Sun’, has a slower but interesting introduction, starting off with just guitars, then a slow haunting melodic vocal from Matt reminiscent of ‘Shogun’. Again, an interesting introduction, but the next part sounds like something you would hear on a ‘Disturbed’ album, with standard double bass and chugging guitars with a vocal pattern similar to ‘David Draiman’.
The final track ‘Breath in the Flames’ is definitely a highlight of this album. It starts with a clean-guitar, and goes into a Shogun-esque riff. A great build up from a slow start, to double bass and chugging guitar riffs. It then drops it down with a very ‘thrash-metal’ section, similar to ‘Detonation’ from their album ‘The Crusade’. This track showcases some of Matt’s higher-pitched vocals in the pre-chorus, with some nice harmonies that perfectly fit into the track.
Overall, this album is a huge disappointment. The main problem is that most of the tracks start with potential, but the substance is just not there. Trivium are known for their complex song-writing, amazing guitar work and varied vocals. The lack of ‘screaming vocals’ is a shame, but it is not the main criticism. The guitar work is simple, and the drumming is boring and safe.
‘Silence in the Snow’ is a watered down version of what Trivium are capable of, compromising complex song-writing for a more accessible sound. It will surely bring in a new fan-base, but in return it will isolate existing fans who got them where they are in the first place.
‘Silence in the Snow’ is out now via Roadrunner Records.