Trivium have always given the impression of trying too hard to second guess what others want from them; reacting to the mixed reception given the more traditional heavy metal of The Crusade, they went too dark, too heavy with Shogun (two very underrated albums, despite being stylistically and critically questioned), before making a respectable, if inconsistent, attempt to restore the balance with In Waves. So, it comes to pass that Vengeance Falls (Roadrunner) is not only Trivium’s sixth release, but their most important since they smashed through the glass-ceiling with their classic second album, Ascendency.
With Vengeance Falls, Trivium have stopped worrying about what they think they should do, and have released the album they needed to – a glorious summation of all that they are. David Draiman, delivers not just as producer but also as coach to Matt Heafy, who gives the vocal performance of his life consistently throughout an album that sees the Florida quartet rediscover and revel in what makes them a great band; thrashy hooky riffs, searing leads, memorable vocals, and He-Man strength metal song-crafting.
While the title-track is the standout song of an album bursting at the seams with standout songs, merging the riffing of ‘Pull Harder…’ with the catchiness of ‘The Anthem’, it is the quality and relentlessness with which new classics ‘To Believe’, ‘Strife’, ‘Through Blood’ and ‘Dirt and Bone’, ‘No Way To Heal’, and ‘Brave This Storm’ follow that underlines just how consistent and strong Vengeance Falls is. Not only is this Trivium’s most consistent album to date, it’s their definitive album; the one that takes all the best moments of their past, and machine-guns them at you in a vulgar display of power and hooks.
Yet, the most impressive is saved til last, and the dark, expansive closing pair of ‘Incineration and Wake…’, shows new depth and progression while still retaining a crunching metal energy that serves not only to tie up the album perfectly but promise much for future releases.
Brothers of Metal, with Vengeance Falls, Trivium have Hailed, and they have Killed!
9 / 10
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