Trivium are arguably one the most influential metal bands of the last decade, but, after 2015’s Silence In The Snow album divided many of their fans, there has been much discussion on what direction their new work would take. Their signature twin guitar attack is in evidence from the very start, and the screams are back.
On The Sin And The Sentence, new drummer Alex Bent brings a new edge to this band, swinging from whirlwinds of mind blowing technical drumming to flat out monster size stomping metal grooves which all seem to come easily to this guy, effortlessly blending it all with Paolo Gregoletto’s low end riffage.
From album opener and title track “The Sin And The Sentence,” Trivium set an ambitious agenda. Highly technical musicianship is combined with radio friendly clean vocal hooks, besieged by blast beats and old time Slayer style grooves, all held together with their inventive, two pronged trademark neo-classical shred guitars.
Diving straight into our first classic Trivium anthem, “Beyond Oblivion” is characteristic of this band’s work throughout their discography. They have always been very capable of finding a way to offset their intensity against Matt Heafy’s best vocal performance in many years on this song.
For me, “Endless Night” is the star of the show, bringing an introspective edge to the proceedings with a wicked blend of chorus hooks and slab heavy guitar riffs and a succinct NWOBHM style twin guitar break that is so sharp you could shave with it.
This is where it all comes together to highlight the songwriting skills that Trivium have honed with to such great heights over the years.
The closing diptych of “The Revanchist” and “Thrown Into The Fire” bring The Sin And The Sentence to a close, by turns moody and melodic, powerful and oppressive, giving counterpoint to the melodic death metal/thrash/traditional metal fusion of the finale.
All of this impeccably presented by Josh Wilbur (Lamb Of God, Gojira), Trivium enjoy a slick production, easy on the ear without losing any of the edge their stadium shaking songs deserve tied up with a clarity that many bands would (quietly) envy.
It’s a triumph. It’s definitive Trivium. They won’t be losing any old school fans over this collection of eleven well crafted songs and they will almost certainly gain some new ones from it.
It’s an extremely mature and confident album from a brave and focused band who are very comfortable with making their metal their way. Fantastic to hear an experienced band such as this have the backbone to make this record.
(released October 20, 2017 on Roadrunner Records)