Evolution – all bands face it, all bands go through it. If they didn’t, fans would find them boring after a period of time. The poster child for this word is most certainly Orlando’s Trivium. With 6 albums under their belt, none of which are the same, they’ve proven that they’re not out to please everyone. If indeed, they ever were, their 7th studio album is the ultimate testament to that. In all 6 of their previous albums, vocalist Matthew Kiichi Heafy commanded his position as lead guitarist at the mic with more than his fair share of screamed vocals. Wanting to do something different on this album, he has decided to all but nix that, in place of some of the best melodic vocals we’ve ever heard. The result? A theatrical masterpiece known to Trivium fans as Silence in the Snow. While there are still some hints of aggression, this album is one that can be best described as a hard rock opera! The title track, released on July 30th, 2015, was the most shocking single of it’s kind. While it was still powerful in nature, Heafy showed an entirely new side with his soaring melodic vocals, proving that he is more than just a typical metal vocalist.
Some are calling Silence in the Snow Trivium’s most versatile work yet, and I would have to agree. It’s the first album in the band’s career to feature no unclean vocals of any kind, they decided to work with Elvis Baskette (Falling In Reverse, Escape the Fate, Tremonti), bringing out a sound that no one would ever expect. The most surprising part of all of this? Much of the album is tied directly in with Shogun, in terms of imagery and lyrical content because it was written during that era. While you can hear clear musical ties to Shogun, it’s anything but a sequel. With tracks like the title track “Silence in the Snow,” a song about taking your enemies by surprise during a snowstorm, “Blind Leading the Blind,” a track that is an attack on the leadership of this world, this album has some of the band’s most impressive work. Another surprising factor is bassist Paolo Gregoletto truly shines on this album, showing that he is more than a bassist, he is the backbone of this band. His bass lines on this one actually give me chills in some points.
Of course, you have duel guitar battles between Heafy and Corey Beaulieu, but it’s the dynamic of the band as a whole that makes this such an impressive piece of art. It’s no longer about just the music, it’s about the connection they feel with each other and that resonates throughout every inch of this album. One of my favorite tracks on the album is “The Ghost That’s Haunting You,” and not just because that beginning riff will etch itself into your memory… but because of how true the lyrics ring. How many times have you felt that the world is after you? Nothing you can do will ever be good enough and you’re slowly headed into a grave? This track is about being at your lowest point, feeling like you’re slowly headed to your demise and the struggle within yourself to stay sane through it all. This is the band’s way of saying that what we do in life matters in death, the memories of what these people have done will continue to play in their heads, effectively causing you to haunt them after your death. Save yourself before it’s too late and you end up in the same boat.
The following track “Pull Me from the Void” is a perfect compliment to “The Ghost That’s Haunting You” because it sees the other side of the coin. It’s a song about pulling yourself from that dark place, rising above and destroying all in your way. Your enemies, the would-be doubters and everyone who has ever put you down. It’s a track about the struggle to seek your revenge on those who have hurt you in life. It’s a cry to those who have felt looked down upon in life, for them to realize that the harder you fight, the more you’ll achieve.
I couldn’t talk about this album without referencing the phenomenal, eerie, melodic monster that is “Until the World Goes Cold.” This track continues the theme of it’s predecessor. It’s the band’s ultimate testament that they’re going to continue until they can’t anymore. By extension, it’s a track about crushing all in your way, no matter how dark things get, no matter how small the battle, how big the war or how many losses you may suffer along the way. “I’ll fight until the world goes cold, this battle’s burned all that I’ve known” Heafy sings with a hint of urgency in his voice. This track features some of the simplest instrumental portions in the band’s history but, even being so simple, it’s hands-down one of the best tracks they’ve ever written.
The album continues to impress with each twist and turn but I’ll let you discover those on your own. The bottom line is that Silence in the Snow may not be the album that old school Trivium fans had been hoping for but I’m going on record to say that I feel it’s their strongest work to date. Even for the lack of screamed vocals, this album has aggression in a new form and can be akin to the hydra, many different heads but each working toward the same goal. Collectively, Trivium have proven that they deserve their throne next to the greats of their genre. Combining 80s power metal riffs, simple chugs and an overall huge sound… Silence in the Snow is the album that will define Trivium from this point forward. Expect the unexpected, though, because if the band has decided to go this direction on this album…there’s no telling what’s next! For now, ride the wave that is Silence in the Snow by picking up your copy out on Roadrunner Records now!