Album Review: Trivium - 'What The Dead Men Say'

18 May 2020 | 2:07 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

A memorable ninth LP from Trivium.

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Orlando rock/metal outfit, Trivium, have been around a very long time now, putting out eight albums between 2003 and right now, as the band just dropped their ninth studio album a few weeks back, entitled ‘What The Dead Man Say.' I personally haven’t ever listened to Trivium before now, so this album was a trial-by-fire experience for me, though I quite liked what I heard.

Introductory track 'IX' starts the album out on a softer playing field, bringing with it darkness and eeriness before energetic guitars shoot in, delivering the same intro riff at a faster pace before it all transitions into the title track. A fast and furious titular cut that is but one of many energized tracks found throughout Trivium's latest effort, driven along by quick tempos and faster-paced instrumentation, all leading up to a seriously hooky chorus that clarifies to all why this was chosen as one of the promotional singles. Speaking of which, 'Catastrophist' has one of the best choruses on the album, surrounded by softer verses, a rapid pre-chorus that contains raw vocal performances, and just one of many memorable guitar solos found throughout, where the harmonies add so much weight to proceedings. 

One such impressive solo is found in 'Amongst The Shadows And The Stones,' a track that stands out in my mind, not only because of those sweet guitar solos, but also because of Matt Heafy's aggressive screams that really grabbed my attention early on, plus the various tempo changes heard across the song. If I can could call Trivium one thing, it's that they're quite consistent, and 'The Defiant' is also similar to these aforementioned tracks, delivering plenty of heat in the verses and especially the bridge, which brings even more catchy guitar melodies aided by some fantastic drumming from Alex Bent. The instrumentation throughout is very catchy, as are the melodies in the choruses, shown by another powerhouse vocal performance from Matt.

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One thing I really admire about ‘What The Dead Man Say' is the amount of energy that these songs are imbued with. 'The Defiant' is a pretty good example of this, but there are still plenty of other energetic moments to be found throughout the whole record. Second to last track 'Bending The Arc To Fear' delivers this brand of kinetic rawness through brisk instrumentals until the tempo slows to finish the song out, combining the heavier and more melodic elements found throughout the rest of the LP. 'Sickness Unto You' brings with it one of the best, most memorable hooks of the whole album, shifting over tempo changes, going from the surging intro right up until its aggro bridge and riff-driven breakdown.

In contrast to this, 'Bleed Into Me' is much slower than its sibling tracks. It’s also one of the most melodic overall (aside from some occasional screaming), containing another serious ear-worming chorus, with an awesome guitar solo and solid harmonies that fit really well during that particular section. 'Scattering The Ashes' is another one such more melodic-aimed track for Trivium's latest, armed with another equally infectious guitar solo - something that this band seems to really love! Then, the closing piece, 'The Ones We Leave Behind,' follows suit in all of these factors, feeling like a great cap off. 

Since this was my first time properly listening to a Trivium album, I can’t at all compare this new record to others in their discography - whether it's better or worse. Despite that, I still found this ninth record to be an enjoyable, impressive melodic metal romp. The band brings in so many strong performances, both vocally and instrumentally, throughout a lot of the heavy and energetic metal tunes that fill up the well-written graves of this new release. For the most part, I thought the songs on 'What The Dead Men Say' were interesting to listen to, full of gusto, heart and riffs. And now I can't wait to dive into the rest of their discography! 


What The Dead Men Say


Amongst The Shadows & The Stones

Bleed Into Me

The Defiant

Sickness Unto You

Scattering The Ashes

Bending The Arc To Fear

The Ones We Leave Behind

'What The Dead Men Say' is out now: