I’ve been a major Trivium fan ever since discovering them with their breakthrough album Ascendancy (2005). Even though ever since they’ve been steadily climbing up the modern metal ladder as a force to be reckoned with, not all of their records have been hits. With Shogun (2008) they had another album of the same level as Ascendancy, but the other albums have been of a lower quality featuring just a handful of really strong songs. Their album Silence in the Snow (2015) wasn’t a complete miss, but for me personally not a lot of the songs actually stuck with me and the whole album was shelved rather quickly as “rather forgettable”. But now they’re back with release number eight baptized The Sin and the Sentence. Knowing how strong they can be and the massive talent within the band, of course I’m giving this album a chance.
And right from the start they know how to convince me with title track and opener The Sin and the Sentence. For those who were hesitant if Trivium could still deliver, just with one single song they manage to beat any criticism to a pulp. The song combines their biggest strengths with soaring guitar melodies, melodic singing but also harsh vocals by a matured Heafy, the devilish crafted guitar tandem solos and incredible drums. This is the first album with yet again another drummer and I have to say that Alex Bent is the first one behind the drum kit since the departure of Travis Smith that gives the band (and music) the drive it needs. The speed in which he pummels down on those skins with both hands and feet are reminiscent of their first drummer and blastbeats are back in the mix! Wait for the end of the track to get blown away with what could almost pass as death metal for these guys…
Beyond Oblivion continues down this path, this time with added group choir passages that will quickly turn this track into a fan favorite live to shout along to. I have to admit that at a certain point Heafy repeating “Beyond Oblivion” over and over again gets a bit stale, but nevertheless another strong track. Soon after single and radio hit material The Heart From Your Hate shows up and despite not being harsh at all, it doesn’t get boring and fits perfectly with the rest. It’s simply so damn catchy that it’s going to take a permanent spot in your head for hours after hearing it and some interaction with the crowd shouting “Hate” back at the band will be expected at live shows.
But don’t worry, with Betrayer they immediately go back into a higher gear with Heafy screaming “Betrayer!” at you with some very black metal sounding guitars backing him. Still, being one of the catchier tracks on the release it mixes just enough of those black metal influences and other harshness into it to not make it yet another “radio hit” song. The rest of the album continues just as strong, with some of the hieviest songs Trivium has released in a long long time. The Wretchedness Inside pulsates and growls at you with a big shining role for Paolo on bass, giving that extra heaviness. Sever the Hand features some sections that definitely belong up there on the scale of “fucking heavy” with around the 2 minute mark Heavy shouting “go!” to embark on a death metal bit that’ll make the mosh pit turn into a massive slaughterfest.
The guys must have planned to end the album in absolute beauty, because with The Revanchist and Thrown into the Fire they bring two progressive infused track that could’ve just as easily been on Shogun. The Revanchist has turns and twists with several tempo changes and long solo moments, all backed with great melodies and ridiculous drums. And closer Thrown into the Fire literally throws us in the fire for one last time with an all-obliterating groove encompassing influences of death, black and thrash metal.
With The Sin and the Sentence Trivium has awakened the fire and love I’ve had for this band in the past. They managed to combine literally all their earlier work into one massive record that can hold its ground next to their mastodon releases Ascendancy and Shogun. No matter how negative a lot of metalheads often are about this popular band, they are the prime example of what a modern metal band should sound like.
Release date: October 20th, 2017
Label: Roadrunner Records
1. The Sin and the Sentence
2. Beyond Oblivion
3. Other Worlds
4. The Heart from Your Hate
6. The Wretchedness Inside
7. Endless Night
8. Sever the Hand
9. Beauty in the Sorrow
10. The Revanchist
11. Thrown into the Fire