REVIEW: Trivium – ‘The Sin and the Sentence’

Review by Jeff Maki
Live Metal and Trivium go way back. In fact, our first-ever feature was an interview with bassist Paolo Gregoletto in 2006. During the past 12 years, we’ve watched and followed the band closely, interviewing Paolo again, in addition to other members (even a drummer since dismissed), and reviewed its albums (2005’s “Ascendancy” is in the select company of receiving a perfect 10 rating), saw them play the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festivals, headline shows and open for In Flames. We’ve watched the band transition from the underground and find success on rock radio with songs like “Built to Fall” and “Black” (“In Waves,” 2011), and more recently  with “When the World Goes Cold” and “Dead and Gone” (“Silence in the Snow,” 2015).

Trivium has become the Motörhead, Overkill or Foo Fighters of the millenials, a model of consistency, releasing a strong album every couple years, keeping the band’s signature sound intact, while introducing subtle new elements and newfound melody. The haven’t all been hits (like that time vocalist Matt Heafy took one too many pointers from producer/Disturbed’s David Draiman), but overall, Trivium has grown from a highly touted, fledgling metalcore band into longstanding heavy metal veterans. “The Sin and the Sentence” is the band’s eighth album.

On first listen, a return to the sense of urgency, speed and screaming prevalent on “Ascendancy” is my immediate impression. Another new drummer has entered the fold (should we even type his name?). In all seriousness, Alex Bent is a beast on this album, reintroducing blastbeats and thrashy mid-sections, recapturing the fire from the band’s first two releases, particularly on “Beyond Oblivion” and the album’s title track. Heafy’s rediscovered screaming abilities are all over this release.

Trivium always has worn its influences on its sleeves, and here is no different. I certainly hear shades of In Flames (the excellent “The Wretchedness Inside,” which pays homage to “Leeches”), Megadeth (in the always brilliant and mesmerizing guitar work and blistering soloing of Heafy and Corey Beaulieu) and Pantera (for the strategically placed, slowed-down chugging, stabbing -you-with-a-dagger riffs built to ignite moshpits).

A couple other tracks standout, like the latest single, “The Heart from Your Hate,” with verses that remind me of ‘80s legends Dokken, in a melodic, hard ballad, done Trivium style, and “The Revanchist,” a seven–minute-plus album centerpiece, which actually was the original album title.

I could dissect this album song by song, but let me just say for those Trivium fans who thought the band had become somewhat ordinary on the past two albums, “The Sin and the Sentence,” masterfully combines old and new Trivium styles in a perfect balance, playing out like a “best of” the band. With several tracks and singles already released leading up to the release, there are surely more to come—this one has staying power.

October 20, 2017, Roadrunner Records

Rating: 9/10


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