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Album Review: Trivium - 'Silence In The Snow'

2 October 2015 | 11:42 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

American metal heavyweights deliver an enjoyable, albeit experimental, album.

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Since their inception, Trivium have been a ferociously heavy band - recognisable, commercially successful and to an argued extent, relatively consistent. So, to see them experiment with different sounds ultimately leading to their 'hard rock' sound can be a little disheartening for fans, especially to those who craved the ballistic screams of 'Ascendancy' or the blazing and technical instrumental sections of 'Shogun'. Their last release saw them toning down the brutality and easing fans into what was going to come next. 'Silence In The Snow', Trivium's seventh studio offering, is something entirely different to anything the boys have ever released before. However, Trivium, while keeping to the straight and narrow, have also shown their equal preference for the unpredictable. After 'Ascendancy', arguably one of the most influential contemporary metalcore records, was released it was hard to assume that the next thing the group would offer would be a straight-up, thrash metal revival record, but, that's this band for you.

'Silence In The Snow' begins with an orchestral intro, somewhat of a very brief overture that shows similarity to some melodies present in the album's single. Predecessor and opener 'Snøfall', composed by Emperor vocalist Ihsahn, is a delicate prelude to the album and leads straight into the official opening song. The title track and first single released from the record kicks things off and shows Trivium's new direction: less brutal, but still heavy with a stronger focus on Matt Heafy's vocals, which have seen a dramatic change, even from the last full-length (2013's 'Vengeance Falls'). The song is a solid start and showcases the band's new sound well. 'Blind Leading The Blind' follows and seems to carry a more Trivium-like vibe to it, it is heavier and has more of an emphasis on the guitar work than found in the previous track. In saying that, the song does have an identifiably catchy chorus with soaring melodies and harmonies as provided primarily by bassist Paolo Gregoletto. 'Dead and Gone' highlights a groovy, alternative metal side to proceedings with a heavy core-like main riff and a strong, melodic chorus. Comparatively, 'The Ghost That's Haunting You' is a standout. It's an up-tempo, entertaining track that showcases Heafy's vocal abilities and demonstrates these solid enduring harmonies.

Middle moment 'Until The World Goes Cold' may come as a shock to fans (particularly to those who may not have heard it upon its single release). Somewhat of an alternative metal ballad, similar to that of Breaking Benjamin with acoustic interludes and a soaring chorus, it is kinda cheesy, but provides a different view for the new sound. 'Rise Above The Tides' is much the same, while 'The Thing That's Killing Me' is mostly forgettable, continuing with an alternative metal vibe. 'Beneath The Sun' is very Trivium sounding though, harking back to either 'Shogun' or 'Vengeance Falls'. It's worth noting, 'Breathe In The Flames', the final track, does an unbelievable job at closing out the record.

Trivium strived to do something different on this album. It's been something they've wanted to do for a while but just haven't been able to achieve it precisely. While it may shock or even alienate some fans, 'Silence In The Snow' is a welcome change and feels completely natural in the context of the band's catalogue and overall progression. On most parts the band succeeds in delivering an enjoyable metal album. The songs are well produced and while the screams are gone, the talent is still there and should Trivium continue in this direction, they should be met with continued success.

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2.Silence in the Snow

3.Blind Leading the Blind

4.Dead and Gone

5.The Ghost That's Haunting You

6.Pull Me from the Void

7.Until the World Goes Cold

8.Rise Above the Tides

9.The Thing That's Killing Me

10.Beneath the Sun

11.Breathe in the Flames