Review by Suzi H
Trivium burst onto the metal scene in 2004. They formed in 2000, and released Ember to Inferno in 2003 but it was 2005’s Ascendency and specifically the track Pull Harder on the Strings of your Martyr that brought to mainstream attention. Since then they’ve been busy little bees – Vengeance Falls is their 6th studio album, produced by the mighty David Draiman from Disturbed. Luckily for us UK based fans they’re doing tour with their Road Runner label mates Killswitch Engage next year (Cat A and Suzi H will be there reviewing the Manchester Show – say “hi!” to them if you see them! – Ed)
So then Vengeance Falls… I’ve got my hands on the Special Edition which includes 3 extra tracks. The show kicks off with Brave this Storm, 4 minutes of the angriest guitars out there, accompanied by some pretty angry vocals – this album is metalcore at it’s absolute finest and it’s a nice demonstration of the skills that Trivium have shown over the years. Lyrically it’s pretty damn interesting too –
How did you think when in apathy’s drink
That doing nothing would spare you from the brink
You’re equally at fault; now broken by the assault
The righteous, the victims, the villainous ones and all
Anyway, moving on from my lyrical raptures, the album slams you headfirst into the title track Vengeance Falls, and it’s no let down. Often after such a strong opening track the second track is a disappointment but there’s no risk of this here – it’s a guitar fuelled punch to the guts that’s accompanied with a drum line of beauty and Matt getting his scream on.
Strife has me thinking that this an album in which there will be no let up. Whilst there’s a heavy melodic element to each track, and you can’t deny how well crafted each track is, there isn’t going to be any oasis of peace and calm- this is an angry album. It’s full of rage and personal struggle and the lyrics bear this out:
I’ve found that strife won’t make the bleeding stop
Nor will it take away the pain
I feel like this search is all in vain
And I struggle to find my way
No Way to Heal continues in much the same way- heavily progressive guitars including an amazing solo, complimented by Nick Augusto‘s unrelenting drums and then Matt howling and growling his way through some beautifully tortured lyrics. This is another one of those albums where I struggle to do a song by song play-through because I’m too busy being swept along in the actual music- a great sign from a listeners point of view, but not much help to the reader! No Way to Heal is my favourite track from the album.
To Believe changes the style slightly, but is still more of the same- I wouldn’t say that any of the tracks blur into each other or sound like repeats. more that this album has got a distinctive sound to it and each track really contributes to it. At the End of this War makes a liar of me saying earlier would be no let up. Suddenly Trivium slam on the brakes and here comes a beautifully slow introduction with some nice classical style guitars and Mat being all ballady. Don’t worry, there’s only about thirty seconds of it and then all of a sudden you get smashed in the face with some uber thrash guitars and a nice bit of growling.
Through Blood and Dirt and Bone is totally melodic and sounds less angry than the rest of the album- it’s not calm enough o be classed as peaceful by any stretch of the imagination but it’s another brilliant track. It’s also the track that for me demonstrated the David Draiman influence on the album- there are moments where the vocals are reminiscent of Disturbed. It’s a good thing and it just smooths out that Trivium sound and makes it even better, Villainy Thrives has a total rhythm change to the rest of the album- the pacing of the track is totally different and it sticks out a little as a result but that’s not a bad thing. In fact it’s a rather brilliant track.
Incineration: the Broken World moves the album towards a glorious finale in the shape of Wake (The End is Nigh). Incineration is just a beast of a track- I think it might actually be my favorite from he whole album but it’s hard to tell because with so much awesomeness to choose from, how could I pick just one?!
Wake (The End is Nigh) is a shock – who knew Matt could sing so low? I didn’t. Anyway, it’s a slow and gentle track for the first one and half minutes and then WHAM! In your face. It’s brilliant. If you have the standard edition of the album this is a brilliant finish- you’ve just had 40 odd minutes of fast paced hard hitting metalcore with the odd change of pace just to make sure you haven;t dozed off. Nothing to complain about by anyone’s standard.
Now for Special Edition owners we move on to the three bonus tracks – No Hope for the Human Race, As I am Exploding and Skulls- We are 138 which is a Misfits cover and a damned fine one at that. No Hope is just brilliant. Lord only knows why it didn’t make it onto the main album – by itself it makes it worth getting the Special Edition I feel. As I am Exploding leaves me wondering just why they didn’t make the standard edition a longer album and include the extra three tracks – it’s just simply brilliant.
This is a brilliant album – Trivium have always set the standard high for their studio releases and Vengeance Falls is no exception – it grabs you the minute it starts and makes you listen. I can’t explain how excited I am to be seeing them live in 2014- tracks from Vengeance Falls should be featuring pretty heavily on the set list and I’m actually trying to work out if I can make it to both the Manchester and London shows! If you haven’t already added this album to your collection I’m not sure why but stop what you are doing, get onto your preferred retailer of choice and order your copy. You and your ears will thank me. I promise.