ALBUM REVIEW: Trivium – What The Dead Men Say

Release Date: April 24th 2020
Label: Roadrunner Records


It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Trivium, but few could have expected the young upstarts that made ‘Ascendancy’ to still be here fifteen years down the line, and also to be one of the biggest names in metal.

2018’s ‘The Sin And The Sentence’ felt like a real rejuvenation for the Floridian quartet, so its follow-up and their ninth album ‘What The Dead Men Say’ arrives with a large amount of goodwill towards them.

‘IX’ is a grand introduction full of bombast, with a memorable guitar riff that segues gloriously into the title-track and opening track proper. The main riff sounds incredibly strong, and this contains the first of many memorable choruses. But it smoothly moves into a different-sounding section, in this case a death metal-inspired divergence, making for a sprawling epic which sets the tone for a lot of other tracks. The dual guitar work from Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu is as stellar as ever, but sounds even better in the context of this new collection of songs, which act as a powerful injection into their discography.

‘Catastrophist’ is a more anthemic number with a melody that soars, but not without some mighty guitar chops. A special mention must go to drummer, Alex Bent, who only joined the band three years ago, but plays as if he’s been there the whole time.

‘Amongst The Shadows & The Stones’ is another definite highlight which hones in on Trivium‘s more aggressive side, and you’ll want to scream along to this one, yet this still manages to intertwine every bit of musical ground they’ve covered over the years. ‘Bleed Into Me’ and ‘The Defiant’ also succeed at being rousing anthems, with just the right balance of radio-ready factor and heaviness applied.

The opening run of tracks may sit among Trivium‘s best work, and it flows by very quickly. From ‘Scattering The Ashes’ onwards, it doesn’t quite have the same impact as before, but there’s still lots to take in, and even amongst a smattering of positives you may still be wanting more.

The blast beats and tremolo picking flourishes that appear in fleeting moments, coupled with Heafy‘s well-documented love for more extreme areas of metal, are no coincidence. You’d think, for a band with such a large global fanbase, what would they have to lose by dipping their toes into full-on black metal, even for just one song? You will pick up on the Trivium template pretty quickly too, and they’re damn good at it, but there’s still plenty of room for them to push the envelope even further in the future.

Taking from various metal subgenres, as well as their own material, ‘What The Dead Men Say’ helps to breathe an invigorating new chapter into Trivium‘s career. If the next album is as good as this one, it may be time to get them headlining Download Festival.