Do you ever look back at how a band caught your attention? Matt Heafy put Trivium on my radar because he and Epiphone released a series of his Les Paul Customs. It's very cool when an artist chooses to release a signature guitar on Epiphone or LTD and actually plays them.
Unlike this guy.
Being a Les Paul "player" myself, his devotion to my instrument of choice piqued my interest. After listening to this record, my first thought is what are you guys trying to do? I hear so much of your influences all over your sleeves, but it comes out sounding spectacularly unique.
The vocals move back and forth between powerful singing, thinking James Hetfield after being spritzed with David Draiman (Considering he produced the record and added four or five notes to Mr. Heafy's upper vocal range, this is to be expected.) and balls out growls from hell. Heafy mostly sings, but every so often it's as if a button was pushed in the studio and it went all heavy growly and the band responded in kind. If the dummer's the backbone, then Matt is the central nervous system.
"Brave This Storm" features a spectacular solo break that could easily double as the sound track to an electrocution in any horror movie. The drummer, Nick Augusto, has taken a Paul Bostaph style turn with his performance on "Vengeance Falls." Meaning, on his second album he really added to the sound and played like the player he is, instead of fitting into the band. "In Waves" did not feature the kind of eye popping drumming that the current album does.
This is where the guitar work needs to be discussed. Unlike many other metal bands, there is no distinctive method of how they play songs. Do they power chord all the time like Deicide? Nope. Do they riff all the time like Metallica? Nope. Do they play melodic harmonies all the time like Iron Maiden? Nope.
So, what do they do?
All of the above depending on the song. As of this writing, "Vengeance Falls" is one of the best guitar albums I've heard in a very long time. Varied in its approach. Spectacular in its delivery. Always inspired. Never predictable. And all that, is just the rhythm guitar work. Let's talk about the lead guitars.
Many of the solos do not have the standard heavy metal preamble like in "The Unforgiven" and such. These boys skip straight to the jaw dropping good part. Then at any given time, or just when they thought OH!!!, in comes the harmony guitars. Every kind of solo on this record has a harmony part on it. It is just mind boggling how they could do that.
If you love metal or just Metallica, and you don't check out this record, then 2013 was a waste of time.
1) Brave This Storm
2) Vengeance Falls
4) No Way To Heal
5) To Believe
6) At The End of This War
7) Through Blood and Dirt and Bone
8) Villainy Thrives
9) Incineration: The Broken World
10) Wake (The End Is Nigh)