With their youthful ambition dashed somewhat with the universally critical reception of 2006’s shambolic ‘The Crusade’, it’s all too easy to overlook the fact that since this obvious clanger, Trivium have redefined their status once again as potential heirs to the metallic crown. With genre defining classic ‘Ascendancy’ and progressively leaning masterclass ‘Shogun’ under their belt, the controversial decision to have polarising Disturbed frontman David Draiman take the production seat may hint at a desire to plumb more mainstream territory than we have previously seen.
The reality of ‘Vengeance Falls’ may in fact confirm these suspicions, yet this sixth full-length effort sees a sharpened focus from the Floridian quartet, which makes for a record as melodically commanding as the band have ever been. Perhaps the starkest impact Draiman has made here is in aiding the tremendous leaps that Matt Heafy has taken vocally. Although undoubtedly possessing some fearsome pipes as evidenced on previous releases, ‘Vengeance Falls’ sees the singer in masterful form, whether handling the muscular hooks of opening salvo ‘Brave This Storm’ or the slick bite of ‘No Way To Heal’. Harsh vocals may be few and far between, yet it’s Heafy’s commanding presence here which gives the record a combative air of imposing conviction.
On top of this, these tracks employ what is an arduously honed instrumentation clout which, whilst being seemingly as straight forward a Trivium we have seen yet, fizzes with a vigorous intent which only further cements the new found confidence surging through the band. The likes of lead single, ‘Strife’, and the glistening title-track marry the thrash inflected venom of their youth with a boldly strident hook driven core, and rarely do we see a song break the five minute mark as the band eschew any fucking about in favour of mammoth choruses, smouldering lead breaks and infectious authority.
‘Vengeance Falls’ will without a doubt not sit well with many. Easily misconstrued as overly restrained and mechanical, the record quickly clarifies itself as a simple case of a band playing to their strengths. An unashamedly heavy metal album, ‘Vengeance Falls’ casts aside current trends for the traditionally proven triumph of songwriting intensity. Trivium are now not sounding too far away from the finished article.
Written by Tony Bliss