Vengeance Falls

Written by: MN on 31/10/2013 14:54:52

It has officially been 10 years since Trivium released their debut "Ember To Inferno" and like a rite of passage, this decade of experience for the quartet transcends an unsaid boundary in which bands go from their adolescence, where a band often still moulds their identity, into the midlife either plagued by crisis or by progression. "Vengeance Falls" being released a decade after the debut marks this transition and the album can be viewed as the admission ticket in to the higher ranks. One of the most anticipated records of the year, "Vengeance Falls" tick the boxes for a great record - the only problem remaining is its conventionality.

The debut record "Ember To Inferno" introduced the foolproof combination of thrash and metalcore, ever so powerfully executed with sweep picking galore and galloping double pedals. "Ascendancy" is by some critics considered to be Trivium's magnum opus and the record did spawn discussion of Trivium to be the next big thing. "The Crusade" was both hailed for the melodic edge but also chastised for it's mimicry of Metallica, especially in the vocals. Matt Heafy is not only a great guitarist, but has an original vocal cord rarely surpassed in the modern metal world, the problem was that his vocals emulated James Hetfield to a controversial level, at least according to some critics. "The Crusade" was also the first album to retain a more conventional song structure and more importantly, (to the dismay or pleasure of fans) no scream vocals. "Shogun" marks a turning point in their career as Trivium's technical prowess allows for expansion, this progressive record re-introduces the scream vocals. "In Waves" returns to a more metalcore sound and songs like "In Waves" fit firmly into the trends of the early 10s. What characterizes Trivium's progression is consistency, none of their records are boring in any sense, they have placed their feet firmly within the foundations of thrash metal with a modern edge.

"Vengeance Falls" is in my opinion one of the most melodic records that Trivium have released thus yet. Produced by vocalist David Draiman of Disturbed, a lot of the discussion has involved whether Draimans influence has improved or damaged the Trivium expression. Countless fan rants on the internet criticize Draiman for having created a Disturbed 2.0 with the new Trivium record. I happen to disagree. It is clear that a certain song, "To Believe" is very reminiscent of something Disturbed would release, but its a damn good track, which is a refreshing shift from the overwhelming thrash metal influence on the remaining tracks. The opening track "Brave This Storm" pummels ahead, ensuring that Trivium have not gone soft and vocals being slightly reminiscent of Corey Taylors work in Stone Sour, proves Matt Heafy a versatile vocalist willing to experiment. There is no doubt that Draiman has expanded his voice, yet being a sucker for screams, I was kind of hoping to have more raw vocals featuring. Fans yearning for squealing solos and sweep picking can find refuge in songs like "No Way To Heal" and "At The End Of This War" as both contain twitch-inducing guitar work combined with tasteful riffage. The Closing track "Wake (The End Is Nigh)" has Matt Heafy challenge his vocal range like never before as the track introduces vocals as deep as the bass range in the melancholic introduction.

Despite having Matt Heafy explore the skills lay dormant in his vocals, I cannot help but conclude that the record is too easily digested to the point that it becomes lazy listening. The songs are melodic masterpieces, but their hit potential just doesn't cut it for me. The conventionality lies in song structure and lack of experimentation. The album has, however, grown on me after countless spins, and I must admit that it is by no means a bad record, it's just not as good as "Shogun" and "Ascendancy", therefore, I award Trivium a solid 7½ for releasing another great record, but I also issue demerits for its conventionality.

Download: Brave This Storm, Strife, No Way To Heal
For the fans of: Soilwork, Unearth, Rise To Remain
Listen: Facebook

Release date 09.10.2013
Roadrunner Records

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