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Trivium – Silence In The Snow

Every Trivium release after Ascendancy has initially been met with some backlash by fans of the band. Pretty much every band by the album is solid, but every album is a departure from the previous one, so getting fixated on certain aspects of the sound of the band always leads to disappointment. That’s not to say that all criticism of their work is invalid, but there is always a yearning for older elements of the band’s sound from some. Yet, despite this, Trivium keep pushing forward, and with every album they change the shell around the core of their sound. Sometimes it works better than others, as the intricate and progressive Shogun was an absolute masterpiece, In Waves was their most diverse album, and while Vengeance Falls was met with some degree of negativity, its second half had some of the best songs they’ve ever written. Silence in the Snow  is the Florida quartet’s seventh album, and it sees them taking a different direction yet again, with a heavy bent towards traditional metal and the complete eschewing of screaming (which works out surprisingly well), and bringing back the elements of the fabled Shogun sound. And while the end result works more often than not, it’s a bit flawed. It’s hard to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of Silence in the Snow against each other, as they’re mostly disparate. The songs have structure issues, but the actual riffs that are in there are pretty great. Perhaps the easiest way to sort this out is to just lay the issues out there and let everyone sort them out for themselves. There is really one prime problem with this album, and everything else stems out from it. That problem is the reliance on choruses, or more specifically, song structures that emphasize choruses. Pretty much every song has a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus structure. Some of the best aspects of Trivium songs are “the riffs in between”, things that lead verses into choruses, interludes, pre-solo sections, et cetera. The band not having any screaming on this album is really no issue, as there aren’t any riffs that make one go “I wish there was some screaming here”, but that’s actually the root of the issue here. It’s not that the band are no longer doing harsh vocals, it’s that they’re not writing riffs that they normally play when they’re doing harsh vocals. And while the screaming isn’t really missed, the riffing is. Further exacerbating this issue is the fact that the choruses area repeated a lot, which makes the songs feel rather simplistic and repetitive. It’s also a problem when a lot of the songs have their verses start with the “guitar plays a note or two then stops, and Matt sings over a bassline” bit, which gets old even faster. While those issues sound a bit grave, when the album works, it really works. It has some of the best lines they’ve ever written. The riffing isn’t really the focus on most of the songs, the vocals are, and the riffing just provides a backdrop for the singing. While Matt Heafy isn’t the best singer out there, he’s better than he ever was (and he doesn’t rely heavily on pitch correction either, as live videos make very evident) and he pulls off a singing-driven album well. And while the complaints about choruses being too prevalent stands, they’re damn good choruses. It’s so easy to sing-along to everything in the album, and it’s all ridiculously catchy and memorable. The heavy metal influence is prevalent mostly on a few songs, whereas the rest are Shogun-era Trivium songs with the screaming bits cut out and the choruses emphasized. That album has been the holy grail for the band’s fanbase since its release, and this album brings back pretty much every aspect of that sound minus the heavier parts. The lack of more intense riffing probably partly due to the fact that the singing is a lot more difficult than what the band has done before, and Matt has to focus on his voice, which forces him to just play basic rhythms. The band mostly cover that up with great song writing, proving their claim they’ve been making for years that it’s not about how hard the riff you play is, but how good the riff sounds. And for guitar enthusiasts, the band still have neat riffs in some of the songs, and their solos, which every song has, are some of their best. Really, how much one enjoys this album will come down to what they’ve come to expect from Trivium over the years. If their image of the band was that of a metalcore band with screaming and melodeath-esque riffing, they will probably be disappointed. But if they liked Trivium for their melodies, Matt’s singing and the memorable lines, this album contains more of those than ever. They’ve brought back some of their best songwriting elements, and while the implementation is a bit flawed due to the simplistic structure of the songs, the end result is really good and is full of stupidly catchy riffs and choruses. In ways, Silence in the Snow is the “Black Album” of Trivium’s career, as it reflects a position in their musical progression similar to how that album was situated for Metallica . And while this might (rightfully) alienate some longtime fans, it’s just a different direction and not really a bad one. The aspects that are lacking are undeniable, but what’s here is also compelling in its own right. ? Trivium –  Silence In The Snow gets… 3.5/5 -NT

Lamb of God Delivers In Houston, TX

    Last night Lamb of God delivered the goods on the Slipknot tour in Houston, TX. This was the 4th time I had seen Lamb of God and the only thing that disappointed me was the amount of time they got to play. I am used to them being the headliner and seeing them […]

Megadeth Reveal 15th Album Track List

  Megadeth have issued the tracklist for their 15th album – but not the record’s title. Blabbermouth report that mainman Dave Mustaine revealed the news to members of the band’s fan club, the Cyber Army. He’d already revealed that the follow-up to 2013’s Super Collider includes covers of Budgie’s Melt The Ice Away and Fear’s Foreign Policy along with 13 new […]

1980’s Heavy Metal Kids Turned Out OK

Relax, Mom and Dad. The kids aren’t really into Satan. A new study claims that kids who listened to heavy-metal music in the 1980s turned into “middle-class, gainfully employed, relatively well-educated” adults. That is, despite taking in hour after hour of people screaming about sex, drugs, suicide and the devil himself, most of heavy metal’s […]

Lamb of God Unleash ‘Erase This’ Song Ahead of New Album Release

[pb_vidembed title=”” caption=”Lamb of God” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xjlfyQyOw8″ type=”yt” w=”500″ h=”385″] Lamb of God are not being stingy with their new music, unleashing yet another new song ahead of the release of their VII: Sturm und Drang disc. This time it’s a track called “Erase This” getting the advance preview. Simply put, it’s a heavy rocker that’s sure to please […]

King Diamond Forced to Perform Without Makeup at Milwaukee Show

King Diamond is one of rock’s most recognizable performers, often decked out in black and white stage makeup with crosses and occult symbols painted upon his face. But Wednesday night at The Rave in Milwaukee, fans got a different looking King Diamond. The singer was forced to take the stage without his familiar stage makeup as […]

Lamb of God Release New Video – “512”

    Get ready to be creeped out by Lamb of God‘s new music video. A few days ago, Lamb of God debuted the track “512,” and now the single has got its own murderous clip. “512? references the cell number Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe found himself in after his 2012 Czech Republic arrest. If you […]

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