Vengeance Falls review by Trivium

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  • Released: Oct 9, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.1 (149 votes)
Trivium: Vengeance Falls

Sound — 8
Formed in 2000, Trivium have done a lot towards building a reputation as a leading metal act internationally. "Vengeance Falls" is the sixth full-length studio release by the band, containing 10 tracks (or 13 tracks on the "special edition" version I am reviewing today) and clocks in at just under 50 minutes (or just over an hour if we're talking about the "special edition"). The first single from the album, "Strife," was released on August 1st and also became an instant download for those pre-ordering the album (though oddly enough, the track "Brave This Storm" was released in late July either to stream or for free download, but was not named as a single by the band). Something that I noticed immediately during my first listen through to the album, is there is much more melody and groove on "Vengeance Falls" than on earlier releases. Matt Heafy, vocalist, has attributed the increase in melody on this album to David Draiman's participation in the production of the album, as well as crediting Draiman with helping Heafy expand his vocal range for the album. The album opens up with "Brave This Storm," which is a very fast and aggressive track, and shows Trivium using rests in their music in a very creative way. The title track, "Vengeance Falls," is next up and the intro is very much like a lot of early thrash metal, but Trivium owns the track and adds their own identity pretty quickly. The chorus makes good use of melody and vocal harmony via the backing vocals. "Strife," which was the lead single from the album, has a very memorable riff as the song intro and also later in the track some of my favorite vocals from the album. "No Way to Heal" is an interesting track, and I was especially transfixed by the little vibrato thing that is done with one of the riffs for the song. I could be wrong, but I think some of the vocals on this track may be David Draiman. "To Believe" is next up, and this is a fairly solid track, and once again a very fast and aggressive track as well. "At the End of This War" sports an acoustic intro and some almost pretty vocals by Matt, and when the "heavy" comes in it hits pretty hard, though at times on this track I was thinking it would be nice if they would give the double bass pedal "tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat" a rest. "Through Blood and Dirt and Bone" has a really cool slow groove to it, though it isn't a slow song. "Villainy Thrives" opens up with a distorted melody that really caught my attention from the beginning, and from there the track really opens up to be another groove-heavy track. "Incineration: The Broken World" is next up and has a really cool riff repeating through a lot of the song, that kind of reminds me of the old Woody Woodpecker cartoon character's laugh - but the metal version of it. "Wake (The End Is Nigh)" has a really interesting clean melody in the intro, and lyrics start very soft, giving the whole intro the feeling of a twisted lullaby. When the distortion comes in, the song really expresses a sense of urgency. "No Hope for the Human Race" starts out with an epic little riff, and from there has some really thrash-like stuff going on with the rhythm. "As I Am Exploding" is next up, and this is pretty much a riff heavy, aggressive track from beginning to end. The lyrics go back and forth from clean to screamed in an interesting way. The vocal cadence was really a nice touch. The album closes out with "Skulls... We Are 138," which is a cover of a Misfits tune, and they do a really great job capturing that punk feel in the song while retaining their "signature" sound as Trivium. Overall, I think that was a fun choice for a cover song and closes the album out nicely.

Lyrics — 8
Matt Heafy does some of the best vocal work I've heard from him – maybe due to the vocal coaching he seems to have received from David Draiman during the recording of the album? The backing vocals also seem much stronger than their previous albums. As a sample of the lyrics, here are some from "Wake (The End Is Nigh)": "With my hands around your throat/ that's the way I like you most/ When you're choking on the feelings rushing out/ I just want to hate/ the same way that you hate/ So that I don't feel this love no more/ Choking on the feelings rushing out/ I'm choking feelings rushing out/ Time won't open up its wings/ Let me fall from grace/ And lend into the flames/ I don' want to feel this love go cold/ I don't know how you opened this light before."

Overall Impression — 8
When "In Waves" released, I wasn't really impressed with that album (I know, a very unpopular opinion), and I expected the same type of stuff from "Vengeance Falls," but I'm glad to say that I was impressed with this album. In general, the composition and lyrics seem to be steps ahead of where they were with the last album and it really has shown some serious growth with the band. Also, while Trivium is still about playing fast, this album also has some of the most memorable riffs from any of their previous releases. My favorite tracks from the album are "Strife," "At the End of This War" and "Through Blood and Dirt and Bone." Suddenly I find myself excited about what Trivium might do in the future.

137 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "A Trivium album produced by David Draiman (of Disturbed) - what more could you ask for?" That shithead Drainman to stop ****ing with my 2 favorite bands!
    I'm still a fan, and I will continue to be one, but this is their worst album by far. Unimaginative riffs that resemble something that was dropped from In Waves, weak songs, the terrible Draiman influence... Thought the album would get better with repeat listening, but it doesn't, it's too boring and uninspired. I'm now officially waiting for their next release.
    David Draiman is one dimensional and stale, at this point. Why do I want him producing a great band's album?
    No long explanation from me, I'll keep it simple. "In Waves" was MUCH better and I get the funny feeling that Matt Heafy was on purposely TRYING to sound like David Draiman on several of these songs. I dunno if its his influence or if thats just what Matt was trying to do on purpose. I'd LOVE to see someone like Bob Rock or even Rick Rubin work with this guys, and before you shit all over Rick Rubin, just know: he IS a genius who can bring out the best in almost ANY artist from any genre.
    I'm not one of those guys who wants a Shogun pt.2 I just want the effort, they put a ton of time into the writing. and its a noticeable standout from the other albums to me. their releases after that album just seemed to have less of a touch on the writing. i feel they were quick to finish writing a song than sit down and see how they can improve on the music they wrote. im not trying to come off as a music nerd saying they should have put more into the album. but shogun really stood out to me
    The issue with Shogun is that although that was their compositional peak, it was tough music to perform, thus taking some fun away from performing the songs live (Trivium's words, not mine). I'd love for them to write music on par with Shogun - not necessarily the same style, but the same effort - but I also want them to enjoy what they do over giving in to people's demands.
    True, but it always pisses me off when Trivium says that. Its basically saying "we are capable of writing amazing music but we are too lazy to play it live." Thats a shitty excuse if you ask me. Plus every time I've seen them live they have nailed the Shogun material perfectly. They are really talented musicians, its a shame they dont utilize their potential.
    Completely 100% agree. I've always felt the same, that Trivium could be revolutionary but simply don't go out of their comfort zone (aside from Shogun, that is).
    "Matt Heafy does some of the best vocal work I've heard from him – maybe due to the vocal coaching he seems to have received from David Draima" - Too much if you ask me. Sounds like David has imposed his style on the songs and not for the betterment of it.
    It Was Zero
    In my opinion this album is a 2/10, In Waves was a 4/10 and Shogun was 10/10. I don't like the direction they're going in but they still kick ass live.
    Incredibly poor effort by Trivium IMO. Been listening to these guys since "Ember", and I can honestly say that after this album I no longer have any reason to expect anything good from this band anymore. I gave the album two full listens, and it just does nothing for me but disappoint.
    At least every Trivium album is vastly different than the last. Hopefully their next album will go in a better direction.
    m4ss3 m/
    Definitely not their strongest album. I actually liked the Misfits cover most.
    I fear this is another Super Collider incident, where Cold Sweat was probably one of the best songs on the album.
    Trivium is my favourite band but I have to be objective : generic riffs + Draiman's vocals = useless album.
    I listened to the album at work yesterday, eight straight hours. Yeah that crap ain't growing on me. The vocals are just too awful. Terrible I'll even say. My damn favorite band and thanks to David Draiman's knoodling its ruined. All I can say is I hope they dump his ass for the follow up and grow their balls back. SO disappointed
    This album has grown on me, and I've been listening to it alot, but even as a massive Trivium fan I gotta be realistic. This album is probably a 6.5/10 at best. They are amazing musicians and capable of making fan better music than this, and blending their sound with Disturbed isn't being "creative and progressing their sound," its taking a huge step back IMO.
    Not bad but not that great. Overall it sounds like generic metal. Sadly, I don think They'll ever achieve the greatness of Shogun again.
    strife is pretty shit. WTF is with he's vocals man? Riffige is good but not great
    I thought the guitars were extremely lackluster the entire album. It is disappointing for Trivium's vocals to be leagues better then the guitars.
    tragically overrated album i'm afraid - it sounds like disturbed at points and Draiman clearly knows very little of vocal stylings beyond his own, which is arguably dated at this point in time. In Waves was a fantastic album, a varied and grown up offering from a band clearly in it for the long haul. For me it was two steps forward with that album and one step back with this one. I think it's a little bit immature for the most part. I agree with all the other comments though - they do indeed kick ass live.
    Mr Winters
    6/10 at best. A huge disappointment.
    Agreed, Draiman did more harm then good.
    Not only that but this seems to be the weakest lyrical effort I've ever seen from Matt. SO cheesy
    zYx Monster xYz
    Couldn't agree more, I mean at first In Waves didn't do much for me but it grew on me the more I listened. I don't think it will happen this time around.
    If 5/10 is an average record, then how is 6/10 at best a huge disappointment?
    Mr Winters
    I expect much more and much better from Trivium.
    I too expected a lot more. especially after they kept over hyping the record, i really thought this would be a 10/10
    "What more could you ask for?" I could ask for a lot more. The entire album feels phoned-in: every song is in C# and has the same structure; vocal melodies have vary little variation, and parts that should have been screamed were not (the repeated "cannot breathe" on "To Believe" just sounds weird when it's spoken); riffs that sound like In Waves B-sides... the only thing the album really has going for it is that the leads and solos are awesome. It's listenable, but not nearly as enjoyable as any of their other albums. I really hope that they don't continue with this direction in the future. Then again, maybe this whole thing was a ploy to make us appreciate In Waves more.
    Black Hazard
    I think criticizing an album because of what key it's in is stupid, it's usually whatever the lowest note the guitar is tuned to. Very common occurrence in case you haven't noticed. This album sucks though. 1/10.
    Dissapointing album. After every album there is atleast 3 songs where I can say "Yeah, I'm gonna learn this one on guitar". Not with this album. But the songs are still pretty good. Maybe the one I will point out is [b]Incineration , because it sounded to me like it was from Shogun. 7/10
    legend shredder
    So disappointed at this release. In Waves grew on me over time and I came to really enjoy it, but this seems to blend together around track 8 and the rest is just a blur of sameness. So very not Trivium. Drainman failed as producer, his influence is way to obvious. In a bad way too.
    TTP Penguin
    The first half of the album is solid for me, then after track 7 it starts just sounding as if Draiman has sang the songs and Matt has tried to copy him, the delivery just has Disturbed all over it. Not that it's a bad thing, but it's just not Trivium in my opinion. I think that this will help them make it bigger in the USA, but over here in the UK I can see it putting people off, it just lacks the bite and aggression I've come to expect from Trivium.
    I was waiting for draiman in every song to go "Ooo wah aHaha". Lol. Huge influence in the vocal delivery.
    I found this album grew on me. It's not as fantastic and varied as any of their other efforts, but still has some interesting moments that I enjoy. I actually liked No Way to Heal and At the End of This War. To Believe was far too influenced by Draiman, and this album feels a lot less mature than most of their other releases but still has enjoyable moments. So my reaction is mixed. On one hand it has enjoyable moments, on the other hand it's been dumbed down a bit. I hope that this is just an attempt to get some simpler songs into their catalog and the next album is crazier. Still enjoyed it though for what it is: a simple and fun metal album.
    The comments are better written/more informative/have more pertinent content than this article. C'mon UG!!
    I'm definitely not a fan of Draiman. The reason being the way he sings. It feels very "over acted". Anyway, I'm going to give this album a chance and who knows what might happen.
    Definitely my least favorite Trivium album. It's missing the awesome lyrics and hard hitting memorable riffs from Ascendancy, focuses WAY too much on melody. It had potential.
    I have to say this album grew on me a lot, even the Draiman'ish vocals. My favorite songs are probably vengeance falls to believe and brave this storm.
    Commas, yo. Commas. They'll prevent you from cannibalism.
    sorry mate. I'm from germany, there's commas everywhere in our grammar You could say it's a bad habit or something like that. Makes the sentences easier to read for me, but i guess that's different if you never use them.
    He was referring to your LACK of commas when you listed the songs you like.
    Well, screw me. In my defense it was 8am in the morning so, that post was probably rushed as f*ck. I usually get referred to the opposite. I would edit them in if I could.
    I'll give you that one. I don't understand why we can only edit posts immediately after we've made them.
    I LOVE you're profile pic Whoracle was an amazing ****ing album Love in Flames just wish there last album wasn't as popish as it was lol But every other album gives me an earection.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who was disappointed in this album. It was clearly a ploy to get more fans. What a turd of an album. I'm pretty close to giving up on them.
    It grows on me the more I listen to it, the guitar work in particular is really solid. I also like the direction the vocals have taken, they're a lot stronger and have a lot of soul which is nice.
    as a huge, long time trivium fan, i was very disappointed with this album at first. it has since grown on me but its still no shogun or ascendancy. I thought in waves had some of the best songs they ever wrote ( caustic are the ties that bind) and some of the worst they ever wrote (built to fall) but it was still a good record. Overall VF may b a better album because i can listen to every song and enjoy parts in each, but the best songs on VF arent as good as the best songs on In Waves. 7.5/10
    When I heard Shogun for the first time I was so impressed and excited to really see them go to the next level AND THEN THEY RELEASED..... In Waves and now this album. Man, they went downhill.
    I've never really listened to Trivium properly, but I'll be sure to put them further up my "investigate" list
    They have lots of great stuff, make sure to check them out. Ascendancy and Shogun are absolutely brilliant, and The Crusade and In Waves, while not as strong as a whole, also have some real highlights and are perfectly enjoyable. But not this album. 3 or 4 good tracks (which still aren't much better than the average tracks on previous albums), and the rest is surprisingly weak for a band with such proven talent. As a longtime fan of the band, I kinda feel bad saying this, but this album doesn't deserve anything more than 5/10, and a 4/10 wouldn't feel out of place at all either. For someone who likes Draiman's work the album will be probably good, but for me, he just totally ruined it.
    To the unbiased listener, The Crusade is a MUCH better album than most people will give it credit for. Sure, they nixed screams and Heafy clearly wanted to be Hetfield 2.0, but the album as a whole is fantastic. I'd probably rank it second in their catalogue next to Shogun. Definitely loves me some Shogun.
    Totally agree, it's seriously underrated. I'd probably put it third, after Shogun and Ascendancy, and about on par with In Waves. Tracks like The Crusade or Entrance of the Conflagration are some of their best work to date.
    Don't forget Ember to Inferno though! One of the best debut albums I've ever had the pleasure to listen to from any band really!
    Saw these dudes last week and I could give a sh*t less what the album sounds like - they KICK ASS live. Great band
    The only song I really liked was Wake [the end is nigh] and even that could have been better. What a big disappointment, but what can you do when someone like Draiman is the producer.
    In the interview with Corey, he talked about the dynamic change in vocal i.e. he would do the screaming and Matt would do the cleans. IMHO, the single biggest mistake Trivium could have made was to not let Heafy scream. The Crusade was one thing, because it was all cleans, but this "dynamic" just isn't working for me. Matt screams have always been better
    I don't know where you heared that, but Matt still screams on this album.
    I think he meant during live. All the screams on VF will be performed by Corey on stage. It's already obvious on the setlist unfortunately. Matt doesn't want to scream anymore...
    While they have a lot of power, screaming styles can mess your voice up for regular singing. I know there are methods out there to mitigate this, but screaming for prolonged periods causes a lot of strain on your vocal chords, regardless. The dude just wants to preserve his singing voice, IMO.
    Good album, need to give it more listens but on some songs I can really hear Draiman's influence on vocals and I do find it distracting a bit.
    This diffidently isn't ascendancy or the crusade or shogun or even In Waves (which I also very much enjoyed) wish the riffs were more complex and not just rhythmically hitting the open low E string lol, more screams would be nice,and David shouldn't be producing a complex Trivium type record, He's already done enough this year lol Device record Megadeth record appearance, and now a supergroup run by David titled Tristurbed. WTF
    I know that if Draiman's name wasn't attached to this record, everybody would love it. It's all in people's heads. It's a solid metal record with tremendous melody and power.
    No, it's not all in our heads. Draiman's influence is very prominent in this album. Just listen to the vocal melodies; they sound like they're straight out of Disturbed.
    That's the problem that nobody seems to get. Draiman seems to be the undertow of the metal scene because apparently Disturbed sold out to masses somehow because they made heavy but commercially friendly metal. Now that Draiman has produced a record for a beloved metalcore band, people are subconsciously belittling the effort because Draiman's name is attached. I don't see why everyone is so negative about the record, the riffs are solid, they are very prominent it's heavy and reminiscent to Ascendancy. Yes, there is a shortage of harsh vocals but Matt's clean vocals have improved and it's prominent in tracks like Wake and Incineration. This is a great metal record but barely anybody who doesn't like disturbed will admit that.
    Always hated Disturbed, laughed my ass of while Device played during Gigantour, and I'm a huge Trivium fan. This album is good, but only that, good. If you want people to take your criticisms of them personally, with any sense of truth, quit trying to deny that Draiman had a noticeable influence on this record. Musically, no. Vocally, oh god hell yes. Just try to compare Heafy's vocals here to any of their back catalogue. He sounds distinctly different and the vocal melodies/hooks are almost cut strait from Draiman's. Do I dislike all of the vocal work, no, there's no way. But I can't help but cringe on a considerable basis every time I hear a vocal that you can point to and say "Draiman told him to sing it that way."
    I never stated that I couldn't hear the influence Draiman had on the record, I'm simply stating what I'm seeing and putting my thoughts on this comments section. You gotta relax like everybody else.
    I don't even know who drainman is (well after reading comments i now do), but this album sucks.
    On the same point, if Draiman had NOT been involved, it probably wouldn't have the Disturbed influence. So yes, if Draiman wasn't involved, it probably would be a better record.
    False. Even if this is the album they'd ended up with having gone with some no-name producer, I'd still be disappointed. Trivium's appealing to the masses now while alienating their old fanbase. I'm really hoping this album was done simply to draw in more fans.
    Totally agree, its still Trivium, it still sounds like them, and they kept there word on the heavier part too. I don't understand what the big fuss is about it's good. I have all of there albums and this is some of the most polished work they done, maybe not the most creative, but definitley well-done none the less
    One of my favorite Trivium albums, for me it beats In Waves.
    Audible Warfare
    Couldn't agree more. I know that I'll get down-votes galore for this but it's almost as good as Shogun. Bring on the hate everybody.
    Not even close to Shogun. In Waves was better too. Not to say I don't like Vengeance Falls but it isn't my favorite Trivium record by far.
    Solid album, has the "Trivium vibe" and mark a very huge progress in term of vocals, Matt improved a lot, from higher notes to lower notes. One complain, lyrics are often too easy and too cheesy, i mean, it's not the kind of lyrics that i like. Blood, dirt, bones and As i am exploding are my favorites. Edit: and There is no hope for the human race, song about how they were attacked by strangers and how they faced death.
    blood, dirt, and bones are the kinds of lyrics you like?
    I pointed out that the lyrics are sometimes not my kind, but overal i liked the music itself, and musically blood, dirt and bones is one of the best of the album.
    Maybe this album is not that good, but I think it will help them to finally get a correct international standing. Trivium is actually one of my biggest hopes for the future of metal. These guys released 6 albums in 10 years, with one major masterpiece (Shogun) which already is in my top 5 metal album ever. So I definitely think Trivium will grow big. Maybe it is their objective, and when they'll accomplish it, they will compose more sophisticated music again. As a Trivium fan, this album is why I feared, the wrong direction to take after In Waves, which finally grew in me. Draiman's influence is pure shit. Maybe he helped Matt in the singing technique, but Matt is at his best vocal technique ever and I think he didn't need Draiman and his annoying post-production voice effects. The riffs in the album are ok, like a following to In Waves, but of course under the level of the pre-In Waves era. What disturbs me the most, is the song structure : 4'30 to 5 minutes songs is ok for pop songs, but this is ****ing heavy metal ! I mean, you have to take a riff, and develop it at his maximal potential. Pretty much for every song, I feel like something is missing, a longer bridge, another solo, a modulation, whatever. But 4'30 sound so radio-edited, it's a shame to sell your soul like that. I still have some hope for the future like I said previously. Some songs of the album, like Vengeance Falls who has a really melodic and catchy chorus, which proves there is still a little bit of creativity in Trivium. Actually, I love Trivium because of their live performance. They are beasts. I truly think they will become one of the major live acts in modern metal. Which is great, because they all seem to be at top of their youth and their technique.
    Even tough the riffage and groove was ok at times, the album did not engage me at all. A lot of songs had potential given the music was ok but the clean vocals piercing through the album simply make the songs bad. I also feel a lot of transitions from different parts in these songs are so unsmooth its quite disturbing (bom nailed it)
    You thought the singing was bad for the music? I don't understand - Trivium's clean vocals sound really good on this album. If you only want screaming, go listen to Chaos Reigns off the last album. The transitions in rhythm do seem sudden at times, but why is that a bad thing? I think it prevents things from locking into a fairly major pitfall of the club music scene, where one beat persists for the whole song/mix/album.
    Yes i thought it was bad for the music, going in to clean vocals every single vers takes so much aggresion and attitude away from a riff that contains that feeling, and really thats what metal is all about. Attitude. I like some clean vocals but not when they dominate. Well you dont have to be playing club music to be able to make a drumfill that goes into next part more smoothly, i mean they have managed to make good transitions before.
    I enjoyed the album - not anywhere near as much as Ascendancy or Shogun but I thought there were some really good songs on it. Strife is very catchy and I do enjoy No Way To Heal. The comments regarding "cheesy" - nothing wrong with a bit of cheese in your metal
    I dont like Disturbed for the same reason I dont like this album, the vocals are chopped up. Draiman had a huge effect on the vocals, and that kills it for me. Musically however, I like the guitars and drums but Matt's vocals (normally good) ruin this for me
    ****ing awesome and solid band. New album might not be as good, but they are still talented as ****.
    Maybe this album is not that good, but I think it will help them to finally get a correct international standing. Trivium is actually one of my biggest hope for the future of metal. This guys released 6 albums in 10 years, with one major masterpiece (Shogun) which already is in my top 5 metal album ever. So I definitely think Trivium will grow big. Maybe it is their objective, and when they'll accomplish it, they will composed more sophisticated music again.
    Really good release from Trivium. A ton of memorable riffs, wonderful vocal melody lines, and the drums are pretty solid. I don't see what people are talking about with the Draiman influence. It's noticeable on a couple tracks, but overall it's just the fact that Matt has actual good melody lines instead of the painfully static and colorless singing he had on previous records. Always refreshing to hear some good singing on a Metal record without having to go into the Power Metal spectrum.