Trivium - Silence in the Snow (2015) Oct 29, 2015 10:24:45 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Oct 29, 2015 10:24:45 GMT -5
Silence in the Snow, the new album from Trivium, is one of the best Heavy Metal albums of the last 30 years.
How's that for hyperbole?
The funny thing is, it's not really hyperbole - it's true. Silence in the Snow is an all time great Heavy Metal album. It is timeless. It would have sounded great in 1985 or 2005, and it sounds phenomenal now in 2015.
Trivium is hardly a new band, but they are part of the new breed. The difference with Trivium is that there has been constant change and experimentation within their overall Heavy Metal style. From the MetalCore stylings of their debut, Ember To Inferno, to the Metallica meets early Megadeth style of their 2006 album, The Crusade, to the more straightforward Power Metal of Vengeance Falls, Trivium has constantly expanded on their style while remaining faithful to the core of their sound.
And with Silence in the Snow Trivium has taken yet another step further along the road that has seen their style progress album to album. Actually, Silence takes Trivium two steps further down that road, which has some fans up in arms. Singer/Guitar Player Matt Heafy has taken his vocals to a level that few thought he could. He is a legitimate singer. He has a big, rich, powerful voice that can carry melody beautifully while still remaining amazingly powerful. It is the perfect marriage of power and melody, just as the style of this album is the perfect marriage of big, fat, but still somewhat complex and very heavy riffs with that powerfully melodic vocal style. Silence in the Snow may be a more mature, more melodic version of Trivium, but it is not the least bit wimpy. This is an album that will still punch you in the gut (or sometimes square in the jaw) with it's power, while at the same time working it's way into your brain with it's powerful melodic sense.
The album opens with a moody keyboard intro, "Sn0fall," that sets the table quite nicely for the album's title track. "Silence in the Snow," is an amazing song. It has a fantastic groove, and is propelled forward as much by the rhythmic heavy riffing as much as the drumming. Matt Heafy's vocals are fantastic, and the chorus hook is catchy. It is a timeless song to start a timeless album.
But if long time fans thought the album was going to be about catchy songs that are slightly simplified from Trivium's previous albums, "Blind Leading The Blind," can put their minds at ease. Yes, it has a catchy chorus hook and powerful, melodic vocals, but it is more complex musically than the title track and is one of the best songs on the album. And if fans want attitude they certainly get it in spades with, "Dead and Gone," a down-tuned track that has Heafy throwing in a little bit of a growl to his vocals in the verses & bridges - just enough to give the song an edge without getting ridiculous (where the extreme, rough vocals don't match the music, like many bands resort to these days in an attempt to keep their, "Credibility"). "Dead and Gone," is another of the album's highlights - but there are so many high points on this album that it's almost easier to pick out the few songs that are merely very good as opposed to picking out highlights.
"The Ghost That's Haunting You," is a phenomenal track. Hyperbole? Again, no, not really. This song has a percussive riff/vocal melody in the verse, and then a more melodic but still heavy bridge that leads into the kind of chorus that people will remember and sing along to twenty years from now. One would have to be a total cynic and amazingly closed minded to find ANY fault with this song.
Then some Helloween and Yngwie Malmsteen influences can be heard on, "Pull Me From The Void," which is dynamic and sees the band engaging in some tempo changes and changes in styles of drum beats throughout the song. What is most impressive about this song is that these changes all work well. The differing styles of the verses, bridges, and choruses complement each other. The changes are not jarring - they flow well. Oh, and the song itself is extremely strong from a musical and vocal standpoint. Score another one for Trivium.
The song that has some long time fans up in arms more than any other on Silence in the Snow is, "Until The World Grows Cold," which is almost a Power Ballad. Almost. More than a Power Ballad, though, this is a very melodic and dynamic song that remains fairly heavy. Not as heavy as the rest of the songs on the album, but not exactly Bon Jovi, either. This is still clearly Metal, but definitely not the kind of thing that Trivium was known for earlier on in their career. The most important thing is that it is a well written song and works well on the album as a change of pace. It brings further dynamics into the mix.
"Rise Above The Tides," is little closer to what Trivium fans are used to, only with a bit more dynamics and a lot more melody. It may not be one of the best songs on the album, but it is still very good and works well as an album track. Those long time fans can breathe a little easier with, "The Thing That's Killing Me," an upbeat song (mostly) where the heaviest, thrashiest part of the song is actually the chorus. Again, Trivium delivers a ton of dynamics and melody while still playing unquestionably HEAVY Metal. It's a marginally better song than it's predecessor, which says a lot.
Then things get really funky. A ton of Alice in Chains influences show up on, "Beneath The Sun," which has a verse that sounds like something that the Seattle band might have come up with. The bridge and chorus take those AIC melodic styles and turn them on their heads with some classic Trivium riffs and double bass drumming. This is a fresh and new style for Trivium, and because it isn't overdone it works well.
But the song that most resembles earlier Trivium is, "Breathe In The Flames," a song that transitions from a fast intro to a mid tempo groove in the verse to a fast, upbeat chorus (with a killer ascending riff). This definitely belongs in the category of album highlights. Heafy throws in a bit of his James Hetfield vocal stylings on this one, while still showing that powerful, melodic style that dominates Silence in the Snow as an album.
There are two bonus tracks available on the special/deluxe edition of the album, and they definitely make that version worth a purchase.
"Cease All Your Fire," again shows those tempo changes and dynamics that mark the album, and it is a fantastic song. "The Darkness Of My Mind," is a bit more melodic and moody, and is a little more mainstream, but is by no means a Pop song. It is bold and heavy and cinematic. A very, very good song.
The audio production on Silence in the Snow may very well be the best that we've heard on a Trivium album to date. Producer Michael 'Elvis' Baskette, recording engineer Jef Moll, and mixing engineer Josh Wilbur have done a great job of giving Trivium a somewhat fatter sound than they've had in the past without losing any crunch on the guitars. The drums are punchy and snappy and cut through the music perfectly.
Silence in the Snow definitely marks a further progression in Trivium's musical style, and it definitely is less thrashy than previous albums, but it is not a weak album in the least. It is bold and powerful and melodic and will stand the test of time as one of the all time Heavy Metal greats.