Silence In The Snow Review

artist: Trivium date: 10/10/2015 category: compact discs
Trivium: Silence In The Snow
Released: Oct 2, 2015
Genre: Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal
Label: Roadrunner
Number Of Tracks: 11
The seventh album by the band is the first to include Mat Madiro on drums, and features Matt Heafy solely singing clean vocals after injuring his voice during a live performance in 2014.
 Sound: 8.5
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 8
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overall: 8
Silence In The Snow Featured review by: UG Team, on october 09, 2015
8 of 16 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 8

Lyrics: 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." // 8

Overall Impression: 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." // 8

- Brandon East (c) 2015

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overall: 8.3
Silence In The Snow Reviewed by: epiman20, on october 10, 2015
4 of 7 people found this review helpful

Sound: Trivium's sound has evolved incredibly since "Ember to Inferno," or even since "Shogun." Having David Draiman produce their previous album has improved Matt Heafy's singing by a large margin. The most noticeable difference between "Silence in the Snow" and other Trivium albums is Heafy's voice. Of course, most fans will notice there is no screaming on this album, similar to the "Crusade." This album centers around the guitar melodies and vocals, but of course there is plenty of signature Trivium heavy riffs, they just don't seem to be the focus of the sound. I would say that the sound on this album is a mix of "The Crusade" and "In Waves"/"Vengeance Falls," just with much better vocals and a more full guitar sound (some of the guitar tracking sounded a little weak and tinny on "In Waves," in my opinion). Personally, I found the tempo changes "Pull Me From the Void" great sounding, and "Blinding Leading the Blind" has the best overall sound of any track, it's just a complete song in every area. // 9

Lyrics: Trivium always has great lyrics, unfortunately, this album has some weak lyrical tracks, most notably "Dead and Gone" and "The Thing That's Killing Me." Most songs do have excellent lyrics, the best being "Blind Leading the Blind," "Beneath the Sun," "Silence in the Snow," and "Cease All Your Fire." The vocals, as I mentioned are very well sung, Matt Heafy's voice has become amazing, which might be why there is no screaming. Trivium write amazing melodies. Period. They have the ability to balance the heavy chugging guitar and smooth melodies better than almost any other band out there. They care a lot about sound quality and production as well, so you know it's going to sound great before you hear a single song. // 8

Overall Impression: I love this album. I like to judge an album by the first listen. I rarely fall in love with an album on the first listen, but I did on this one. I later found out that my wife was trying to get my attention while I was listening, but she apparently gave up quickly because, in her words, I was "lost in the music." If you were a fan of "The Crusade" and also like Trivium's last two albums, your gonna go cuckoo for cocoa puffs for this one. Their sound is evolving with every album; that's probably what I find so appealing about Trivium.

And because I'm a librarian, I like to give things a hierarchy, so here is my best to worst tracks for this album, starting with the best (not including "Snøfall"):

1. Blind Leading the Blind
2. Cease All Your Fire
3. Silence in the Snow
4. The Ghost That's Haunting You
5. Beneath the Sun
6. Rise Above the Tides
7. Pull Me From the Void
8. Breathe In the Flames
9. Until the World Goes Cold
10. The Darkness of My Mind
11. Dead and Gone
12. The Thing That's Killing Me

I hope you get something out of this review. Now go listen to this album! // 8

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overall: 8
Silence In The Snow Reviewed by: Guitar_Maverick, on october 10, 2015
4 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is now Trivium's seventh studio album, and they have definitely come along way from when I first heard them over 10 years ago. The album follows a common theme for Trivium in that it is different to all of their other albums. It takes a bit of getting used to but the exceptional production by Michael "Elvis" Baskette and debut of Matt Madrio on drums definitely helps.

It's clear that the tracks are designed to display how far Trivium's songcraft has come. For long time fans, this is definitely not the return the "Shogun" style epics that you've been waiting for with no tracks longer than 5 minutes 30 seconds. This is made up for by the creative range of compositional techniques used to sculpt the songs. The interweaving vocals during the verse of "The Ghost That's Haunting You" creates a whole new soundscape that is a band first and captivates the ear so much that it's a almost a shame to move on from it. The lyrics seem to have taken a new level in places as well, with no unclean vocals throughout the record, Matt proudly displays his vocal talent and incorporates some word painting during the chorus of "Breathe in the Flames" shows a vast improvement to previous efforts. As well the new devices, Trivium managed to incorporate some of their classic favourites: the pre-chorus of "Pull Me From the Void" features a Corey lead guitar line that compliments the vocal line perfectly. // 8

Lyrics: Unfortunately, with the emphasis on the overall song being well constructed, the songs are a lot shorter. While this has been a growing trend from their albums, even "The Crusade" had its instrumental title track to provide variation. This has also forced the band to utilise similar structures for each of their songs and this can make them predictable to listen to. The intro riffs in songs, while often a headbangers delight, are brief and short lived rather then varied, built up and explored; the solos are generally uninspiring and predictable with a couple of exemptions. These classic features are especially missed on tracks like "Dead and Gone," which while it's a solid song, it is unspectacular but carries several great ideas that could be explored further. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, the tracks are exceptionally well written, they maintain interest throughout and on re-listens. The concentration on the total being greater than the sum of the parts has really paid off. Even the "filler" tracks are incredibly well constructed while the good songs are exceptional. The riffs are inventive and unique, the lyrics are creative and compliment the songs, and the contrasting use of texture is unexplored territory as far as metal goes. A very accomplished effort, though it may not be what Trivium fans were expecting.

Standout tracks: "Breathe in the Flames," "Blind Leading the Blind," "The Ghost That's Haunting You." // 8

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overall: 8.3
Silence In The Snow Reviewed by: Gibson_SG_uzr55, on october 10, 2015
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Throughout its career, Trivium has been a band that isn't afraid to delve into new territory. This is the case on their seventh album, "Silence in the Snow." The most obvious, and controversial to many fans, of the changes in the band's sound is the absence of singer Matt Heafy's bludgeoning guttural vocals. It's not the first time that Matt has cut screaming vocals from Trivium's music, as there was little screaming on the band's then-controversial (but now more appreciated) third release, "The Crusade," as well as songs without any screaming at all on 2011's "In Waves" (paired with songs that had no clean vocals at all); "Vengeance Falls," their most previous album, contained screamed vocals but remarkably fewer compared to most of their other albums. What has made "Silence in the Snow" controversial with fans so far is the utter lack of screaming, period. And while the screaming may be missed, it must be said that Matt's clean singing voice has never sounded better than it does now. After blowing his voice out during a concert last year, Matt has received vocal lessons, and is able to do something he always wanted to do. While on "The Crusade" screaming was abandoned to mesh with the musical approach of the album, Matt has finally grown comfortable enough with his singing vocals to say that not only does he not want to scream anymore, but he doesn't need to. Matt's voice has improved with each Trivium album; I thought that it would have peaked with "In Waves," but was proven wrong with his newfound melodicism on "Vengeance Falls" (fan criticism that Matt's vocals were overly derivative of "Vengeance Falls" producer David Draiman's own style was unfounded, for Matt's vocals were fantastic on that album in their own right). After "Vengeance Falls," I thought Matt could do even better going forward, and he has.

Another trend on "Silence in the Snow" is continuing with songs that are relatively straightforward in terms of technicality and song structure, a choice the band has made to ease performing on tour after the technicality of "The Crusade" and 2008's acclaimed release, "Shogun." While technically much more simple, the music on this album, which is more influenced by classic metal than others, has more in common with "The Crusade" and "Shogun" than it does with the groove-based "Vengeance Falls" or the multi-faceted "In Waves" (with the exception of a handful of sludgy riffs). The palm-muted opening riff of "The Thing That's Killing Me" and the dissonant main riff of "Breathe in the Flames" have a very thrashy feel; the almost-epic melodies of the title track are something from a power metal song, while the bridge riff of that song, the main riff of "Dead and Gone," and the verse riff of "The Ghost That's Haunting You" would feel at home with "Vengeance Falls" or certain "In Waves" songs. Harmonized guitar lines, of which the previous two albums were rather lacking, are utilized this time around, showcased in songs such as "Blind Leading the Blind," "Pull Me From the Void," and "The Thing That's Killing Me." While there are many bright melodies on the album, some of the songs have melancholic intros: "Snøfall" (the album opener which can be seen as a natural opening to "Silence in the Snow"); "Until the World Goes Cold" (featuring a textured guitar line through a delay effect, followed by a very simple but very heavy palm-muted riff with a tasty pinch harmonic thrown in); "Breathe in the Flames" (which has acoustic guitars playing over a clean guitar); and the bonus tracks, "Cease All Your Fire" and "The Darkness of My Mind" (both of which feature clean, effect-laden melodies).

Matt Heafy, who no more than 10 years ago was considered to be a prodigy on guitar (he was only 19 when Trivium's breakthrough second album, "Ascendancy," was released), has continued to take a backseat in favor of being the band's rhythm guitarist, playing few solos which are simple compared to his ability. Lead guitarist Corey Beaulieu, while also playing relatively novice solos for his high ability, has had the opposite effect - while Matt is in a pentatonic-based rut in recent years, Corey's solos in the last couple albums have been much more tasteful than previous material in which he would emphasize shredding over melodicism to the point of his solos being impressive but not particularly interesting. Indeed, the solos on "Blind Leading the Blind" and "Beneath the Sun," as well as others, are some of Corey's most memorable solos yet. Corey also takes the opportunity to play melodic lines over choruses, giving them a big sound that we expect from the band. Paolo Gregoletto is one of the best and most underrated bassists out there today, and while he doesn't get a bass solo spotlight that he has gotten on some albums in the past, he once again is an unsung hero on this album, playing quietly interesting lines. New drummer Mat Madiro, who was the drum tech for previous drummer Nick Augusto (of whom was the drum tech for original drummer Travis Smith), has already shown to be an upgrade over Augusto. While Matt's drumming isn't as interesting as Smith's on Trivium's first four albums, he manages to provide more enjoyable beats and fills than the skilled but unimaginative Augusto, while retaining a style similar to his predecessor which has allowed for a much more subtle transition than the one from Smith to Augusto.

Producer Michael Baskette's résumé includes the three most recent Alter Bridge albums, as well as albums by Tremonti, Falling in Reverse, blessthefall and Slash. While his credits are small, he managed to help Trivium produce another slick-sounding album. Many fans feel the post-"Shogun" albums have been over-produced, and yet, the sound is crisp, the guitars pack more than enough punch, each instrument is mixed with plenty of volume and space, and Matt's vocals ring through loud and clear. Some might say over-produced, but the album sounds great and that's what really matters. // 9

Lyrics: While Matt will never be hailed as a wordsmith, he is one of the better lyricists in modern metal. Most of the lyrics on this album appear to deal with overcoming struggles, internal and external (a theme which has appeared on all Trivium albums in some capacity, especially on "Ascendancy," "In Waves" and "Vengeance Falls"). The one exception is "Silence in the Snow," which was written during the "Shogun" sessions and features imagery that is not dissimilar to the songs on "Shogun," many of which were about Greek mythology and samurai. "Here we all stand on this canvas of white/Our palette holds but only one shade tonight/Silence snows in, in her wintery chill/Let's paint the ground red with the blood of our kill." The message behind the lyrics may be from the perspective of a warrior/soldier; the atrocities of war is a theme that the band has explored on past songs such as "Down From the Sky" and "At the End of This War," among others.

Outside of the title track, one of the few possible downsides of this album is its lack of lyrical variation, but Matt still manages to make a whole album of solid lyrics surrounding the aforementioned topic of overcoming struggle. Some of the best lyrics along with the verse quoted above include:

"Calling for action/I demand that you question/Are you content with the truth that they have fed down to you? /Think for yourselves/You must break out from this hell/How has it come to this? /We are but drones/Silenced, led amiss" (from "Blind Leading the Blind").

"A fear of dying, a forgotten man/Just a number, a grain of sand/Time won't heal, it's running out on me/All your pain, it's more than I could take" (from "Dead and Gone").

"Apparition, read me my last rites/Can't read me into the grave/What the hell are you supposed to do when the whole world is coming after you? /What have I done? /What have I become? /Standing six feet deep/Am I the only one?" (from "The Thing That's Haunting You").

"As I build my house of bones/You're sinking under/For all your sins, you will atone/I burned it down/I turned back on everything/I search for half-remembered dreams/Pulling me down with you/Above my head, they're circling/The vultures want what's left of me/I sacrificed it all and I will fight until the world goes cold" (from "Until the World Goes Cold").

"The knifes are sharpening/A co-conspiracy/Poisonous treachery/My Judas passed the flame/But now you say that I breathe in the flames/The walls that built you up, they burn you down the same" (from "Breathe in the Flames"). // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, this is another strong album from Trivium, their seventh good album out of seven; few bands can make such a claim. While I prefer "Shogun," "Ascendancy," "In Waves" and "The Crusade," I find "Silence in the Snow" to be an improvement upon "Vengeance Falls," and also rank it above my least favorite (but still a very good album), "Ember to Inferno." Along with the consistency of the band's discography is the consistency of quality of songs on this album, the standout tracks being "Breathe in the Flames," "Dead and Gone," "Beneath the Sun," "The Ghost That's Haunting You," and the bonus track "Cease All Your Fire." If I had to choose a song I find to be the weakest, it would be the still solid "Rise Above the Tides."

The strengths of the album are: the band's ability to mesh bright sounding melodies with heavy guitar riffs, Corey's improving melodicism, the upgrade in drummer, production quality, and Matt's vocals. I don't find any glaring weaknesses in the album, but if there is anything that the band could improve on moving forward, it would be lyrical variation; it would also be nice to see Matt work out some more solos in the future, providing they're a little more creative than those of recent. Many fans will clamor for more technical music or more aggressive vocals, but I will not count that as a weakness as there's nothing wrong with the straightforward songwriting, and there's certainly nothing wrong with Matt's vocals. Moving forward, another album like "Shogun" or "In Waves" would be fantastic, but fans need to realize that the likelihood of Trivium doing another "Shogun" or another "Ascendancy" like they have been calling for is not likely, as awesome as it would be. And they do not need to release those albums again - they just need to release good albums, and they consistently just do that. // 8

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