Released by Roadrunner Records
Release Date: April 24th, 2020
Genre: Metalcore, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal
Matt Heafy – Vocals, Guitars
Paolo Gregoletto – Bass
Alex Bent – Drums
Corey Beaulieu – Guitars
What The Dead Men Say
Amongst The Shadows And The Stone
Bleed Into Me
Sickness Unto You
Scattering The Ashes
Bending The Arc To Fear
The Ones We Leave Behind
Trivium is one of the bands that have managed to gradually evolve in their music style and songwriting through the two decades of their music career. They have managed to create eight studio albums that are completely different from the other and for that purpose they have experimented themselves through the years in order to find their sound. “The Sin And The Sentence”, which was released three years ago, was the materialized proof of a band that has found the way to their own musical identity. Its eagerly awaited successor “What The Dead Men Say” finds Trivium in building upon the huge progress they have previously made and staying loyal to the variety of their discography, even though this tendency hasn’t always worked to their benefit in the past.
Their thrashy metalcore melodies in combination with the melancholy and aggression that comes out of their lyrics have always been the basic recipe of the quartet’s compositions and the fresh studio offering is not an exception to that rule. “What The Dead Men Say” is one of Trivium’s heaviest works, featuring many new elements in their already excellent level of musicianship and precise execution of a more mature expression of anger and fury. The band shows that they have gradually reached their major level of creativity through evolution and experimentation. The new record shows a more refined approach in their compositions, although this new attitude doesn’t have any influence on the dynamics that Trivium has always transmitted through their songs. The band has added more melodies to their structures, they have included some longer tracks and those elements seem to have no impact on the intensity of the album. Moreover, the percussion is more integrated to the sound as a result of the major consistency of Alex Bent’s work on the drum parts. On the other hand, Matt Heafy has chosen to give priority to the use of clean singing throughout the whole record and raise his voice to a few screams to provide precise moments of greater impact to the songs.
The acoustic sound of the short opener “IX” is the ideal atmospheric introduction to the title track, where enormous groove sections lead to dark-colored melodies. The dominating vocals and the tight drum parts have a major impact on the song, meanwhile, the memorable lyrics at the chorus and the heavy thrashy guitar riffing at the verse provide a huge strength to the sound. There couldn’t be a better choice for the leading single than “Catastrophist”: a smooth slow intro evolving to a mid-tempo smasher with exceptional guitar solo work is just the appetizer of what this song has to offer. The band increases the level of speed and aggressivity at the bridge with some of their heaviest but also progressive sounding guitar riffs which give the ideal backing atmosphere to the loud and dynamic vocals. The following “Amongst The Shadows And The Stone” starts with a great intensity that remains at high levels throughout the whole song. The major attention of the listener falls naturally into the last part where the precise and black metal influenced drum sections to take the leading role in supporting the fury of the vocals. “Bleed Into Me” begins with a dynamic style that leads into a more melodic mood later on, but the thick bass lines behind the smooth singing is the major attraction of this track. It’s time for the band to simplify the matters with “The Defiant”, a typical metalcore song, where the perfume of the old school British heavy metal sound that comes out of the guitar soloing and riffing is very intense. This is an ideal moment of a simplistic approach to the music while the album flows, it gives a pause to the modernity of the sound and an enjoyable, but also a relaxing moment to the listener.
It’s time for “Sickness Unto You”, a progressive thrash smasher which includes one of the most amazing guitar solos of the entire record and even more advanced drumming enriched with high-quality double bass and blast beats. “Scattering The Ashes” is an easy-going tune where the exceptional bass lines and the bittersweet sounding vocals are in perfect symmetry. The following “Bending The Arc To Fear” represents the most fierce and less melodic piece in this new release. It certainly includes elements of the major influences of Trivium, such as black and melodic death metal mostly at the riffs, even though some heavy progressive guitar work is mostly present at the final part. The record ends up with “The Ones We Leave Behind”, a high tone, technical thrash, but also melodic metal song, which maintains the intensity levels to the top until the last second.
“What The Dead Men Say” is undoubtedly one of the strongest releases of the year, a record that shows the melodic growth and musical evolution of the American quartet. The complexity of sound, the maturity and consistency in songwriting in combination with the extreme precision in technical execution are the most important ingredients of this new offering. This is a piece of solid heavy metal beautifully enhanced by lots of progressive, thrash, melodic death and black metal elements. Trivium has constructed a new release upon the foundations of their previous success “The Sin And The Sentence” and the results are evident in this new masterpiece, where they show how much they enjoy making exceptional modern metal music.
Written by: Katerina Paisoglou
My Global Mind – Staff Writer