This year has brought us very difficult times, but even with all the negative aspects we are still finding ways to see the light and our artists are helping us hang on until this goes away. TRIVIUM is one of the many bands that made sure that we have something great to enjoy by releasing their new album What The Dead Men Say (out now, Roadrunner Records). Matt Heafy (lead vocals, guitars), Corey Beaulieu (guitars, backing vocals), Paolo Gregoletto (bass, clean backing vocals) and Alex Bent (drums) made an eagerly-awaited return with probably one of the best releases of this year featuring a solid and unique sound.
Three long years after one of their most successful releases, TRIVIUM managed to give us a record that maintains the “new” TRIVIUM sound that we got to experience with The Sin and the Sentence. It’s a complete combination of heavy and soft elements that not only are managed properly through each song, but also align with the concept of the album and have individual characteristics that can only add up nicely for the final masterpiece. What The Dead Men Say has no “this sounds like ‘X’” premise anywhere. All the songs sound like TRIVIUM, which means that we’re in for a wide variety of sounds to hear in every track.
The introduction “IX” sets the exact vibe that we will get throughout, kicking off with “What The Dead Men Say”, which was released as the second single and it starts off with a solid injection of adrenaline that we might need for any occasion. Alex’s work is off the charts and the curiosity for each song keeps building up with each passing second. “Catastrophist,” the first single, is probably my favorite track. It has so many great parts and it also puts a checkmark to the right use of heavy tones and soft harmonies. The song keeps building momentum towards the end, and it’s full of 6 minutes of joy. “Amongst the Shadows and the Stones” wastes no time to get into the dirty lands of the suspenseful kind of heavy.
“Bleed Into Me” starts off with some bass work, courtesy of Paolo. This track features a slower rhythm, which truly leans into a “sing along” song. One thing that I find amazing about TRIVIUM’S music is that, when it’s time to sing, IT’S TIME TO SING, and here are four minutes’ worth of it. “The Defiant” contains a bit more thrashy elements. It’s a faster song that brought me back to the early days of the band for a few seconds. Once it gets into the chorus, it’s just phenomenal, probably my second favorite tune on the disc. It got me hooked since the first time I listened, and the REPEAT button took over.
“Sickness Into You” slows things down a bit with the characteristic darker and slower sound that the album resembles. Right after the introduction is done, we get to hear some more of the art that our boys are capable of mixing together. This one has so many ups and downs that fit together in a great way, worthy of multiple spins. “Scattering the Ashes” brings the vibe back to the melodic side, which is my personal favorite. A very clear sound for the first few seconds and another chorus that completely allows the uglier voices of the planet to sing along. Pay attention to every second.
“Bending the Arc to Fear” holds a simpler introduction, but maintains the heaviness before getting us all into the thrash roller coaster. It’s yet another tune that changes so drastically as every second passes by without losing its metal essence. “The Ones We Leave Behind” was a good way to end the record. Even though TRIVIUM typically chooses to close with a longer track, this time it’s not necessary as the majority of the album has been phenomenal. This last song brings back some fast drum work, alternating with a metal-catchy chorus that will please almost anyone that hears it.
While it’s really hard to create the perfect album, it’s impressive how a band can combine many incredible sounds and place so many of them in different places at different times. TRIVIUM definitely showed so much creativity to write great albums like Ascendancy, Shogun and In Waves, but this record, along with TSATS are just off the rails. I’m sure this will keep opening the doors for my favorite band to headline music festivals without giving up their essence. Phenomenal job by our boys, and I’m personally looking forward to jam to these tunes live as many times as I’ve done it in the past 10+ years since they appeared on my radar.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Catastrophist”, “Bleed Into Me”, “The Defiant”, “Scattering the Ashes”, “The Ones We Leave Behind”