Album Releases Album Reviews

Trivium – In The Court Of The Dragon Review

Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: RoadRunner Records
Release Date: Out Now

Band Members

Matt Heafy – Guitars/Vocals
Corey Beaulieu – Guitars/Unclean Backing Vocals
Paulo Gregolotto – Bass/Clean Backing Vocals
Alex Bent – Drums

Track Listing

1) X
2) In The Court Of The Dragon
3) Like A Sword Over Damocles
4) Feast Of Fire
5) A Crisis Of Revelation
6) The Shadow Of The Abattoir
7) No Way Back Just Through
8) Fall Into Your Hands
9) From Dawn To Decadence
10) The Phalanx

It is quite hard to believe that Trivium have been smashing out their brand of metal for over 20 years! Now embarking on the release of their 10th studio album, ‘In The Court Of The Dragon’. The band have been going from strength to strength and as their live performances show they are a quartet that clearly love creating a brand that nods to their influences but ultimately is quite unique within the metal genre, ranging from thrash, metalcore and progressive metal.

‘X’ opens the album with a melancholic vibe before launching into the title track…

‘In The Court Of The Dragon’ which instantly grabs your attention with Matt Heafy barking out his vocals, incisive riffing and nice runs on the twin guitars with Corey Beaulieu, backed up by a cacophonous display on the drums by Alex Bent. The song mixes tempos easily and the mid-section breakdown followed by the interplay between the guitars is quite phenomenal. Later in the song, Heafy’s clean vocals show that his voice is capable of a range of singing styles which he carries off with aplomb. Simply put, this is an absolute banger of a tune.

‘Like A Sword Over Damocles’ continues the album in a similar vain, the chorus giving way to clean vocals, after another aggressive set of verses. The mix of the throaty shouts and clean singing, tips the cap to the metalcore side of their sound. It could be said that Trivium are renowned for recruiting some absolutely amazing drummers and, in Alex Bent, they clearly have an exponent in tub-thumping that excels in delivering a driving force to their sound.

Paulo Gregolotto’s bass lines are more prominent in ‘Feast Of Fire’, giving him his chance to shine. Oftentimes when you have guitarists as phenomenal as Heafy and Beaulieu, the bassist could be said to be forgotten, however, Gregolotto shows he is more than adept at holding the rhythm section together. This is a more straight-forward heavy metal tune that shows the depth of influences that pervade the music. There are some superb melodies within this track that flow effortlessly between the riffs.

‘A Crisis Of Revelation’ is another thrashy/metalcore number which again shows the spectacular musicianship that Trivium are able to create. The galloping riffs are a signature on this track which coupled with the soloing and the backdrop of Bent’s rapid drumming make this another cracking tune.

‘The Shadow Of The Abattoir’ is an epic progressive metal tune that delivers another slice of the broad mix of styles that Trivium employ. This really is a smashing tune that builds gently but then has moments of brilliant rapidity that take the listener on a fantastic journey.

‘No Way Back Just Through’ is another opportunity for Alex Bent to show his incredible prowess on the drums. It surely will be a treat to see the live performance because the patterns on offer here really are quite mind-bogglingly brilliant. The clean vocals on this track lend itself to more to the modern heavy metal sound. Trivium never seem to be forcing their music and there is a fluidity to their sound which is natural.

‘Fall Into Your Hands’ is an epic 7-minute showcase of the brilliance of Trivium and displays all of the styles that they are so adept at switching to but completely in keeping with the great craftmanship to their songs. It incorporates the thrashy riffs and blistering solos, clean singing and throaty growls and out-of-this-world drumming that they are so renowned for.

‘From Dawn to Decadence’, the penultimate track, is another modern metal masterpiece. From the pinched harmonics to the rapid runs, this is another exquisite tune with so much to offer the listener.

‘The Phalanx’ rounds off this spectacular album nicely with another slice of sheer epic progressive metal and another 7-minute tune to boot. In Alex Bent, they have found a formidable drummer and their sound has developed even further with each album due to his influence.

It appears that Trivium have learnt a lot about songcraft in their twenty-plus years in the music industry and seemingly have found a magic set of songs on ‘In The Court Of The Dragon’. There is very little to fault with this album. The already converted need not worry, this is an effort definitely true to the core sound that Trivium are known for. Those that are not in the loop would do well to appreciate their live performances. With this material behind them, I can honestly say that the band with go from strength to strength.

In my opinion, it is high time that Trivium get the recognition they deserve. They have consistently provided us metal fans with the music we crave. It seems that time is only improving their approach and guile to their abilities. I am blown away by the musicianship on this album and I will say that this is a modern-day classic!

Score: 10 out of 10
Reviewed By: Stefan Putwain


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