It has to be said, you don’t really know what you are going to get next from Trivium these days. ‘Silence in the Snow’ seemed to snuff out any hope of Trivium returning to anything like the shouty thrash anthems of a decade ago once and for all. After many adjustments along the way; Trivium seemed to embrace the melodic, hard rock and clean singing approach that they have been heading towards for a while.
Or so we thought. A couple of years down the line and now we have ‘The Sin and the Sentence’ dropping on our doormats, and well… where do we start?
It’s thrashy, shouty and heavier than we ever dared dream of and most notably, it’s an absolute shit-kicker of an album too.
From the moment the title track and opener blasts into action you’ll hear that Trivium are not messing about with this one. A strong and confident lead vocal from Matt heads up proceedings but that doesn’t quite prepare you for Corey unleashing some classic Trivium screaming in reply. Throw in some epic guitar tone and our ears are pricked on first listen.
Before we get carried away here, let’s take a step back. We’ve been into Trivium here at CB no matter what they’ve released throughout their career. Maybe ‘Vengeance Falls’ could slip into the ‘duffer’ category in hindsight, but on the whole they’ve been up there on our favourites list for many years.
And whatever release they have been supporting on the road, the live show has always been nothing but awesome.
A return to anything resembling the golden years of ‘Ascendency’ has never really been on the cards. But when you hear the guttural roar of “Betrayeeeer” a few tracks in, you may just feel a little bit of magic returning to Trivium.
‘Betrayer’, ‘The Wretchedness Inside’ and ‘Thrown Into The Fire’ all involve some screaming that will happily take off your wallpaper if you’re not careful. It’s not all a mindless roaring however, for every throat ripping scream there’s an anthemic chorus from Heafy.
There are plenty of strings to the bow of ‘The Sin and the Sentence’ too.
There’s a few slow ones that carry on the torch from the last album. ‘Beyond Oblivion’ starts off a bit thrashy but after the initial bomb-blast, soon evolves into a big gang vocal reminiscent of ‘We Are The Fire’ from way back in the day.
‘Beauty in the Sorrow’ takes some of Zakk Wylde’s squealiest pinch harmonics and throws in a chugging riff to keep things heavy. Yet Matt puts in a Dio-come-Myles Kennedy soaring vocal with Corey screaming away in the background. It’s almost a Trivium “Best bits” all rolled into a single track.
And there is the secret to how Trivium have just recorded their best LP in ages. In the past Trivium have released ‘The Thrashy Album’ and ‘The Clean Singing Album’ or ‘The Super Heavy Album’. With ‘The Sin and the Sentence’ Trivium have decided to mix it all up. They’ve combined all the things we love about ‘Ascendency’, ‘Showgun’ et al. and moulded it into one awesome release.
It’s not all rehashed stuff either. There’s a few weird new little electronic bits here and there that had us concerned we’d actually skipped over to some Bring Me The Horizon. Thankfully, we hadn’t and that’s where the BMTH comparisons stop.
We might be proven wrong in a couple of years when Trivium come back with a totally new direction, but we’d say that Trivium have found “Their sound” here. Regardless of that, ‘The Sin and the Sentence’ is a slightly unexpected but very impressive thump between the ear holes.
Trivium’s best album since ‘Shogun’? Yeah, we’d say so…