Sound — 8
Trivium formed in 1999, and signed to Roadrunner Records in 2004 after the release of their first EP, "Trivium," and full-length album, "Ember to Inferno." The band has had a lot of success since that time, essentially filling a necessary spot in modern metal. "Silence in the Snow" is the 7th full-length album by the band, with runtime of 43 minutes with 11 tracks, or the "special edition" of the album which has 13 tracks and is 53 minutes. The band has released 3 singles, and each has a music video available, as well. The lead single is the title track, "Silence in the Snow," which the band released in late July. The next two singles, "Blind Leading the Blind" and "Until the World Goes Cold" were both released in August.
The album opens up with a short track written by Ihsan of Emperor, "Snøfall." This track is essentially a thematic orchestral piece. The title track and lead single, "Silence in the Snow," has a pretty cool groove to it and also takes advantage of Matt's recent vocal lessons. There is a definite "epic" quality to this track. "Blind Leading the Blind" has a cool riff-driven hook, and some intense lead guitar parts. The vocals on "Blind Leading the Blind" remind me of Volbeat in parts. "Dead and Gone" has a real sludgy feel to it, and has some few scattered unclean vocals by Corey, which really helps put an edge on this track. "The Ghost That's Haunting You" had a neat intro and built up pretty nicely to a chorus I wanted to sing along with. "Pull Me From the Void" is another track that starts out with a sludgy riff, but quickly moved more into the Iron Maiden school of metal, and then mixes it up nicely from there - including a short but interesting breakdown. "Until the World Goes Cold" is the third single released from the album, which released along with a creepy video with a guy finding a devil mask laying in the trash, he puts it on and wanders around a city's nightscape. This song is one of the catchier tracks, with two of the nicer touches being a really fitting solo and a short acoustic interlude. "Rise Above the Tides" has some more clear cut breakdowns, and while it benefits from some cool riffing it also seems to spend way too much time with the choruses. "The Thing That's Killing Me" was a powerful track for me - I loved the opening, and some of the things done with the vocals on here was pretty cool, too. This track also has my favorite lead guitar from the album. "Beneath the Sun" is one of the more "mid-paced" tracks on the album with a slow but catchy bass line running through most of the track. "Breathe in the Flames" closes out the standard edition of the album; a melancholy intro that quickly turns into some heavy drumming and riffing. Instrumentally, the track goes to some interesting places.
Lyrics — 8
Matt Heafy injured his voice during a concert in 2014, and has sought out the help of a vocal coach to help get him back up to standards and, in fact, improve his overall vocals. The end story here is that Matt doesn't do screaming vocals anymore, he sings, and there is a marked improvement in his vocals. I did, however, miss the more guttural vocals of Corey Beaulieu on this release, which are only used rarely. Matt isn't my favorite vocalist in the world, but his vocals are a large part of what makes Trivium desirable to a more mainstream audience than a lot of their contemporaries. The lyrics from the album are mostly standard fare for metal. As a sample of the lyrics from the album here is a sample from "Blind Leading the Blind": "Losing my faith in/ The world that surrounds me/ Am I, Am I the only one/ To constantly question it all/ So, So far away/ It's ourselves that we betray/ How has it come to this/ We are but drones/ Silenced, led amiss/ Bearer of light/ Break down the walls/ Remove the chains/ Run towards the night/ Blind leading the blind to the sea/ They're drowning/ Blind leading the blind to the edge/ They're falling down/ You hear them calling/ But it's too late for them/ Now claim freedom/ Save yourself."
Overall Impression — 8
What do I like about this album? A lot of stuff, really. I like the general sound and the mixing of the instruments across the board. A few of the songs the bass guitar sounded really great. The lead guitar sounded awesome for most of the album. The drumming was very solid, even if maybe there could have been more volume dynamics left in the drumming. I don't hate Matt Heafy's vocals, but I don't always like them in the context of heavy music. A lot of the songs aren't as "heavy" as I'd like from Trivium, but they have more of a triumphant and hopeful vibe in their music - it almost sounds happy. At the end of the day complaining about anything with the album is just splitting hairs. My favorite songs from the album, excluding the singles, would be "Dead and Gone," "Pull Me From the Void," and "The Thing That's Killing Me."