Release Date: Oct 15, 2013
Record label: Roadrunner Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Speed/Thrash Metal, Metalcore
"Though perhaps overly mechanical, ‘Vengeance Falls’ remains compelling and staggeringly textured." Trivium’s ‘Vengeance Falls’ isn’t always hands-down exceptional, but it certainly has its moments. The Floridian quartet’s thrashed-up metalcore now stands tighter and more focused on tracks like ‘To Believe’, meaning their sixth full-length is a step forward. And although the guitars appear more restrained, from cadences to melodies, the influence of producer David Draiman’s day job (singer with Disturbed) is constant in Matt Heafy’s vocal deliveries.
Widely tipped for greatness after the surprise success of their 2005 second album Ascendancy, but then briskly consigned to the metallic dumper after the shambolic dropped clanger of 2006's The Crusade, Trivium have had to reassess their cocksure youthful ambitions over the last decade, but Vengeance Falls suggests that they still have what it takes to become major players. Produced by Disturbed frontman David Draiman – a polarising figure in metal circles, perhaps, but one who clearly knows how to ambush the mainstream – this crackles with electricity generated by musicians who finally know themselves inside out: from the irresistible choruses and gleaming riffs of Brave This Storm and Strife through to the hulking melodrama of At The End of this War and brooding closer Wake (The End Is Night), Trivium sound supremely confident and thrilled by the end results of the somewhat arduous refining process their sound has undergone. Best of all, this is a proud and focused heavy metal album that eschews current trends in favour of great songs, massive grooves, blazing lead breaks and a disarming air of combative euphoria.
Possessing a feeling of intense focus, melodic thrash outfit Trivium delivers one of their tightest and most cohesive albums in years on their sixth studio outing, Vengeance Falls. With songwriting that emphasizes quality over quantity or complexity, the album feels more precise in its execution, with every moment expertly placed in order to serve the songs rather than show off the band's musicianship (which is, as always, considerable). A lot of this can be attributed to the work of producer David Draiman of Disturbed and, most recently, Device.
After six albums, Florida’s Trivium occupy their own place in modern heavy metal, valuing melodic choruses as highly as sharp-edged, precision-playing and the expected shredded vocals. Vengeance Falls – produced by David Draiman of Disturbed and Device – doesn’t sound radically different to its predecessor, 2011’s In Waves, which is fortunate as that record saw Trivium mature, acquire a proper drummer and toughen up their act to the level where older, more sceptical metalheads had always wanted them to be. There’s a touch more emphasis on softer textures this time around, specifically on the acoustic-led Wake (The End Is Nigh), but there’s ferocious thrash metal too: see the title track for evidence that wherever Trivium are going, it isn’t backwards.
Trivium seem to have set a precedent, alternating thrilling records like 2005's Ascendancy with their patchier works like 2003's Ember To Inferno and 2006's The Crusade. Following this logic, Vengeance Falls should fall in the former category, and while it fails to scale the heights of their best work it is a mostly fine addition to their canon. Drawing together crunchy riffs, snarling vitriol, blistering shred-fests and stadium-sized choruses, it ticks all the boxes without just recycling ideas, and there is plenty to ensure their faithful have good reason to continue scratching their heroes’ name into their desks.