The judge calls out the sentence – death. The executioner approaches and you see your life flash before your eyes… punished for being different in a world that is so uniform. You swallow your last breath, await your fate and close your eyes. Now, imagine that being set to music and you’ll begin to get a feel for how Trivium’s 8th studio album, The Sin and the Sentence, begins and the ideas through which it progresses. Fans have long clamored for the band to return to their metalcore roots, a la Ascendancy but they’ve refused to create anything that wasn’t a natural progression for them. If you’ve followed the band to this point, you’ll know that they’ve dabbled in just about every facet of the metal world that exists. However, they shocked the world with soaring choruses and a more melodic approach on their previous album, Silence in the Snow. While this was polarizing to their fanbase, it allowed them to explore new horizons and, eventually, led to what would become The Sin and the Sentence.
So what is the result of that evolution? For starters, the band decided that it was time to revisit the heavier side of the music, evidenced by the lead single/title track, “The Sin and the Sentence.” There is still a ton of melody with this track but with fast-paced drumming (courtesy of new drummer Alex Bent), heavily-distorted guitars and an almost doom-like atmosphere. As we progress through the remainder of the album, there is plenty of diversity to be had but speaking once more on the heavier side, I’d like to talk about “The Wretchedness Inside.” The track was originally ghost-written by Heafy for an unnamed band, who rejected it and he uploaded a demo two years ago to his Kiichi Cooking YouTube channel. Since then, the track has evolved into a complete beast… to say the least. Their heaviest track to date, it’s safe to say that there was some black metal influence placed into this track. While Heafy’s screams were impressive before this point, there is a lot to say about how much range he has developed over the years. This track explodes with so much raw power, so much raw aggression, that it becomes scary at times.
Progressing from the more melodic approach we heard from Silence in the Snow, “The Heart From Your Hate” graces us with a signature Heafy riff that is so catchy, you might just get it stuck in your head. If you’ve ever wanted to hear Trivium on an active rock radio station, this will probably be the track to put them there. With just enough of an edge to remain metal, this track features a catchy chorus, a hell of a hook and a groove-ridden nature that will have the listener singing along in no time. Aside from tracks like “Until the World Goes Cold,” this is Trivium at their most commercially accessible.
If you’re a fan of something in-between the two extremes, “Sever the Hand” will catch your ear. While the nature of the track is more extreme, in terms of the musical aspect, Heafy balances his vocal skills quite well on this track. There is also a lot to be said about the way they change up the tempo on this track. The track begins on more of an extreme metal note, progresses mid-way into pure thrash chaos and then heads into a more melodic metal approach before gang chants of “LIFE BURNS ME ALIVE” bring the track to a breathtaking climax.
Finally, Josh Wilbur nailed the production on this album. Everything about The Sin and the Sentence sounds incredibly full and bright, even despite the darker theme of the album. One thing I immediately noticed was how well you can hear bassist Paolo Gregoletto’s parts and how present he really is on this album. If anything, this is where he really has begun to shine through.
The Sin and the Sentence puts Trivium at the forefront of the metal world, where they belong, once again. Not only do these songs have a heavy focus on how they translate live but they have an atmosphere that will allow them to transcend time. If you’ve slept on the band because you were waiting for something heavier, this album delivers in spades. Just when you think they can’t get any better… they say “challenge accepted!” The band will be out on tour with Arch Enemy, While She Sleeps and Fit For an Autopsy beginning next Friday in Orlando, FL and will wrap up December 6th in Houston, TX. The Sin and the Sentence is out today via Roadrunner Records and can be picked up at all digital retailers and most larger retail markets. Alternatively, the album can be purchased in a number of formats/merch bundles via their official webstore. Check out the official videos for “The Sin and the Sentence” and “The Heart From Your Hate” below!
Buy The Sin and the Sentence
Oct. 27 — Orlando, Fla. @ House of Blues
Oct. 28 — Atlanta, Ga. @ The Masquerade
Oct. 29 — Charlotte, N.C. @ The Fillmore
Oct. 31 — Baltimore, Md. @ Soundstage
Nov. 1 — Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Trocadero Theater
Nov. 3 — New York, N.Y. @ Playstation Theater
Nov. 4 — Worcester, Mass. @ The Palladium
Nov. 5 — Montreal, Quebec @ Metropolis
Nov. 7 — Toronto, Ontario @ The Danforth Music Hall (SOLD OUT)
Nov. 8 — Detroit, Mich. @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
Nov. 10 — Sioux City, Iowa @ Anthem At Hard Rock
Nov. 11 — Kansas City, Mo. @ The Truman
Nov. 12 — Chicago, Ill. @ Concord Music Hall
Nov. 14 — Minneapolis, Minn. @ Skyway Theater
Nov. 15 — Milwaukee, Wis. @ The Rave
Nov. 17 — Denver, Colo. @Summit Music Hall
Nov. 18 — Salt Lake City, Utah @ The Complex
Nov. 20 — Calgary, Alberta @ The Palace Theatre
Nov. 21 — Edmonton, Alberta @ Union Hall
Nov. 23 — Vancouver, British Columbia @ Vogue Theater
Nov. 24 — Seattle, Wash. @ Showbox Sodo
Nov. 25 — Portland, Ore. @ Roseland Theater
Nov. 27 — Sacramento, Calif. @ Ace of Spades
Nov. 28 — San Francisco, Calif. @ The Regency Ballroom
Nov. 29 — Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Wiltern
Dec. 1 — Phoenix, Ariz. @ Marquee Theater
Dec. 2 — Albuquerque, N.M. @ Sunshine Theater
Dec. 4 — Dallas, Texas @ Gas Monkey Live
Dec. 5 — San Antonio, Texas @ Alamo City Music Hall
Dec. 6 — Houston, Texas @ Warehouse Live