Review by Claire Frays
10 years have passed since Trivium first arrived on the metal scene, the now-rare blue demo and debut album Ember To Inferno (2003) mere glimpses of what would follow. Now on their sixth release, Vengeance Falls arrives presenting its own vibe and uniqueness. The album marks Trivium’s first collaboration with David Draiman (Disturbed/Device) as producer, a revelation that raised eyebrows upon announcement and very nearly caused World War 3 on Facebook, the debate centring on whether Draiman could really help Trivium create their most career-defining moment to date.
Those doubts are cast aside when ‘Brave This Storm’ kicks in, a riff-charged assault filled with plenty of groove. Heafy’s clean vocals are refined and self-assured, ascending from Draiman-influenced verses into melodic chorus sections. The title track definitely has a Shogun-esque feel to it, consisting of captivating guitar rhythms as well as further vocal supremacy in another unforgettable chorus. While the dominant technical guitar licks collide with punchy bass lines and aggressive drumming to great effect throughout lead single ‘Strife’, the infectious ‘No Way To Heal’ is one of the finest moments on Vengeance Falls. It’s like an amalgamation of elements from every Trivium album in one song and will certainly please the Ascendancy fan-boys. The harsher vocals are wonderfully placed in the build-up to the song’s huge sing-a-long chorus, Heafy’s vocal versatility complementing the virtuoso riffage, shredding, and dual guitar work from Heafy and Beaulieu. Vengeance Falls wraps up with the two longest songs on the album. The first – and one of their best songs to date – ‘Incineration The Broken World’ takes the listener on a thrilling and truly epic musical journey with quirky twists and turns at every corner. And the second, ‘Wake (The End is Nigh)’, sees Heafy deliver some of his lowest notes to date in the emotive opening verse building into crashing drums and soaring guitar solos.
Musically, the album sounds very much like Shogun meets In Waves. Where Shogun combined the best elements of Ascendancy and The Crusade, Vengeance Falls further takes these elements to create polished, big tunes with Heafy’s vocal development (Heafy reckons he has increased his upper vocal range by a good 4 to 6 notes) giving the album a powerful dynamic that puts the album far and above its predecessors. In an interview, Draiman commented that the album is “a masterpiece of metal. It is their finest work to date, and a record so strong that it will blow the doors open to a world they deserve to dominate.” And you know what? He may just be right…
9 out of 10
- Brave This Storm
- Vengeance Falls
- No Way To Heal
- To Believe
- At The End Of This War
- Through Blood And Dirt And Bone
- Villainy Thrives
- Incineration: The Broken World
- Wake (The End Is Nigh)