Oh, happy day!! Finally I was getting a chance to see the one and only TRIVIUM properly. Hang on…I’ll explain. I had seen the band live before, but the couple times I did it was always as part of a festival where they were lucky to get 30 minutes of stage time. So by properly I mean a full-on fucking HEADLINER, BISHES!! Oh, and factor in that support came from AVATAR, one of my current favorite bands, as well as LIGHT THE TORCH featuring Howard Jones on vocals, and you have all the makings of a great night at
North Seventh–nope, sorry can’t do it. It’s the fucking Electric Factory and always will be! As of this writing they’ve finally settled on a name with Franklin Music Hall, but you know what we’re all gonna keep calling it, right?? Good.
LIGHT THE TORCH was up first and they tore through a seven-song set with vigor and aplomb. I’m a longtime fan of Jones’ voice, ever since I first heard him in KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. And on this night he was in fine form vocally. Touring behind new album Revival (their first under this new moniker) you could see and hear a band re-energized and ready to roll. The new songs are not quite as heavy as the DEVIL YOU KNOW ones, but they still fit in alongside them. Of particular interest to my ears was the triple shot of new tunes in “The Bitter End”, “Calm Before the Storm”, and “The Safety of Disbelief.” “Embracing the Torture” from 2014’s The Beauty of Destruction was definitely my favorite moment, though. Can’t wait to see them again.
Next up was AVATAR. This would mark the third time I took in their incredible show, and though it was only eight songs this time around, there’s no denying they took the energy level of the place into the stratosphere. As soon as that buzzsaw riff of “Hail the Apocalypse” started my head threatened to leave my body. Johannes Eckerström is the consummate frontman and he’s like the maniacal version of PT Barnum in charge of this macabre circus. “Torn Apart” from The Black Waltz was next, and I just loved the way Johannes was killing it on that chorus this night. From the same album came “Paint Me Red” and the crowd was eating it up. When we were asked to sing, we sang LOUDLY!!
It was back to Hail the Apocalypse for “Bloody Angel”, another track that has a fucking hellacious riff, before Feathers & Flesh would make its lone appearance with “The Eagle Has Landed.” Normally used as a closer, “Smells Like a Freakshow” instead served to galvanize the crowd further before sole new song “A Statue of the King” graced us with its presence. For the final number the band chose to go dark and moody with “Tower,” not that I’m complaining. The group then simply left the stage to chants of, “One more song! One more song!” Alas, it was not meant to be. Still, AVATAR’S set was top notch and served as a reminder that these boys are here to stay and that they continue to grow and grow, as does their audience.
“It’s TRIVIUM time!!” I excitedly told myself just before they tore into new track “Betrayer,” a tune that is all piss and vinegar. Guitarist/vocalist Matt Heafy, fellow axeman Corey Beaulieu, bassist Paolo Gregoletto, and drummer Alex Bent were clearly on a mission to wreck shop all over this joint. Over the course of 16 songs we were treated to classics like “Throes of Perdition” from Shogun as well as “Suffocating Sight” from Ascendancy. The newer songs are no fucking slouches either, as the band played six of them, with the best one being title track “The Sin and the Sentence.”
Oh, and let’s just talk about how AMAHHHZING “Until the World Goes Cold” from Silence In the Snow sounds live, hmmm? In addition to that, I was so happy to finally get Shogun numbers “Into the Mouth of Hell We March” live, alongside “He Who Spawned the Furies.” A happy Damian, for sure! And on the Ascendancy front we also got us some “A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation” which everyone loved. Hell, the fans were jumping up and down like crazy, and the floor was pulsing that much harder for this one. “Down From the Sky” also never sounded better live, and this actually closed the regular set.
For the encore Vengeance Falls was represented by “Strife” and followed by “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr” before “In Waves” from the album of the same name brought the house down with great vengeance and furious anger. Man alive, it was so fucking awesome to see a full set from TRIVIUM, and having AVATAR and LIGHT THE TORCH on the same bill made for one of the best shows of 2018. At press time Matt Heafy had to leave the tour to go be with his pregnant wife, but make sure you go support the band on the remaining dates. Howard, Johannes, and Jared Dines will all be handling vocal duties, so you’ll get a once in a lifetime show, people. GO!!
LIVE IMAGES: MIKE SIEVILA PHOTOGRAPHY/ROCKVIEW LIVE
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO