Trivium Vengeance Falls

2013 Roadrunner Records

Disturbing vengeance.

Trivium - Vengeance Falls


Through longtime devotion to Bay Area thrash Trivium have established themselves as a formidable entity in their own right. Emerging as a scrappy metalcore outfit and evolving steadily throughout their ten year plus career; their growing chops and ability to move past some blatant hero worship has earned them a few stripes of their own.

On their last full-length “In Waves” the band struck a resounding melodic balance between their pioneering influences and their cagey roots. With “Vengeance Falls” the outfit head in a more tempered direction where bigger goals are chased and every song aims to fill an arena.

The production and writing input from Disturbed singer David Draiman plays an immense role in this. His influence and songwriting style are inescapable, sternly punctuating every turn. As such, the calculated and methodical setup of the material suggests that no detail—no matter how small—escaped the microscope. Ultimately a tightly layered thrash attack is the preferred framework that is carefully drawn up; but it is the harmonies and triumphant choruses where the band truly hope to impress.

Even so, they admirably opt to utilize density and charging riffs to overpower the listener. Weighty vocal melodies may be at the forefront but the accomplished solos are certainly deserving of mention as well. As layered and crunchy as the album is though, its unflinching degree of calculation and pomp keep it firmly resolved.

It’s this meticulousness that can feel too elaborately orchestrated and plotted out. The songs have been built for high performance and tuned specifically to be grandiose, recalling a similar turn Machine Head made on their recent efforts. It’s a solid fit, yet confining in its own right.

For you see the chief issue with “Vengeance Falls” isn’t the bands performance, but their willingness to adopt so many traits of Draiman‘s primary outfit, Disturbed. The material is perpetually anthemic, with Heafy even going so far as to freely mimic Draiman‘s same operatic verbal cadence (see “Brave This Storm” or “To Believe“).

In fact, there’s so many Disturbed hallmarks lurking above and beneath the surface that Trivium‘s own identity becomes clouded. This has been a problem for the band in the past when their excessive adulation of Metallica set off warning bells on “The Crusade“.

There is enough of Trivium‘s thrash quotient and raw barks behind the towering choruses here to keep this from being another “Hail To The King“. But there’s also no mistaking when the puppet master pulls the strings too hard. “Vengeance Falls” does find the band reaching a new plateau in terms of accessibility and surely opens them up to a good portion of Disturbed‘s audience; but they’ve frustratingly had to take on a lot of that bands characteristics to get there.

That said, when Trivium set upon a course here they race towards it. There’s a multitude of lofty choruses and powerful leads and the momentum and dynamic edge of the album are razor sharp from beginning to end. The gained power and precision may have come at the price of some integrity; but it also seems to have given them a newfound confidence that could spell for even better results when next left to their own devices.

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