Trivium has been for me one of those bands that have stuck around since I discovered them. Admittedly, they’ve had some albums I wasn’t the biggest fan of but with their latest release “The Sin and the Sentence” they really got a good one on their hands (for our review go here). So I was very eager to catch the guys live when they dropped by Nosturi in Helsinki, Finland to have one hell of a time. As support they brought along country mates Power Trip, whose latest thrash/crossover album has surprised a lot of people last year, and the volatile death metal of Venom Prison, both personally handpicked by Matt himself…
The night got kicked off by the British Venom Prison (****) with Larissa Stupar at the helm. In 2016 they released their debut full-length Animus, which received a lot of attention and praise for it’s different approach of death metal. Besides the rather unusual themes of feminism, female empowerment and standing up against sexual violence and rape, their sound grabs your attention with it’s very clear and heavy hardcore influences.
And that last element definitely left its marks on the performance of the night. The guys played their volatile music very tight, showing off their musical talent on regular occasions and blasting us with their brutal work. But it was Stupar who definitely stole the show for me… she growled the lungs out of her life, jumped around and threw herself into the gig with a very hardcore attitude. All of this brought a bombshell of a performance with the energy high up, I don’t think that the people who were there already were ready for this… what an opener!
Next up were the crossover thrashers from Texas: Power Trip (****1/2)! Last year they released their second full-length Nightmare Logic, which ended up in a lot of people’s “end of the year” lists. Personally I kind of liked their music already, but was curious to see if they could drag me completely over the line and make me fall in love with them. As soon as the riffs of opening song Soul Sacrifice came into the room, there was no denying that these guys are fucking heavy. I simply could not hold myself from nodding along to the music, which definitely made my job taking pictures of them a lot harder… especially when their hit Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe) got thrown at us!
Vocalist Riley brought the energy immediately through the roof, spatting his lines in our faces, banging his head like crazy, dropping to his knees,… he was like a coil spring that had been compressed to the maximum and finally got loose! Their music is just made to headbang to till your head pops of your neck and jump into the crazy moshpits that should be provoked by the aggression contained in the riffs, vocals and Riley trying to rile up the crowd. I’m saying “should” because for some reason the crowd did not want to move beyond banging their head and raising fists. Was it because most people were there for Trivium? I don’t know, but one thing I’m sure of after seeing Power Trip live: these dudes are damn good and will have a bright future ahead! They got a big fan with me and I’m pretty sure they collected some more new souls from the crowd tonight…
Headliner of the night, and the reason why the house was completely sold out, Trivium (***1/2) is a band that I’ve seen live already quite a few times. I’ve seen the complete band grow into the entertaining live mastodons they are today. Matt knows how to influence the crowd and get them going by coming closer to his fans, pulling out the signature “Gene Simmons” tongue out and showing off his big smile. The show was energetic as usual, with some nice light show added into the mix and no one has to show them anymore how to put down a great gig.
Besides Matt there’s of course his brother in arms Corey Beaulieu with whom he regularly goes into a guitar solo duel and Paolo jumping around and banging his head to his bass lines. Put on top of that their latest drummer Alex Bent, who is simply a beast and you get quite the performance! I truly hope that they’ll be keeping him around a bit longer than they’ve done with their other drummers, because he’s definitely bringing the music to another dimension. The amount of people in the venue brought the temperature to levels that Matt described “as hot like in Florida”.
They opened up with the title track of their latest album The Sin and the Sentence and immediately raised it to that temperature. The track brought everything to the table Trivium stands for: a modern mix of harshness, melody and catchiness. Of course their latest album was well represented with the destroying tracks Betrayer and Thrown into the Fire and extremely catchy The Heart From Your Hate and Beyond Oblivion. The setlist was of course further filled with some of their best songs of past albums like Ascendancy and Throes of Perdition.
As encore they served up all-time favorite Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr and a couple of songs from the In Waves album to finish with a blast. Personally I would have loved to see more songs from Ascendancy and Shogun or possibly even a track from their debut album Ember to Inferno. But I guess after all those years and all those releases you can’t have it all… A great show as usual, though to be honest after the destroying we got from Venom Prison and Power Trip it was a bit ruined for me, they didn’t come across as strong as I’ve seen them before…
For more pictures go check out our photo coverage here!