Vengeance FallsFeatured review by: UG Team, on october 17, 2013 4 of 14 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 8
Lyrics: 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." // 8
Overall Impression: 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. // 8
thenextkirk92, on november 01, 2013 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: "Vengeance Falls" is here. Trivium's sixth album, produced by Disturbed/Device frontman David Draiman and personally my most anticipated album of 2013. Sound-wise, Trivium and their studio crew certainly have done a very good job on the production of this album. The result is a tight, very modern sounding metal record that offers tight, machine gun guitar riffs to beautiful melodies, solid bass tracks, punchy drums and a brilliant vocal performance from Matt Heafy.
Encouraged by Draiman, I believe Heafy has reached a new level in his vocal abilities. Rather than giving Heafy the Disturbed sound, I think he has pushed Heafy to find a larger range as a singer, giving him the ability to perform songs such as "Vengeance Falls" and "Strife." His screams may be less apparent than their previous albums but I believe now his skills as a vocalist have reached new ground.
In terms of guitar work, the riffs are very fast and hard driven for the most part but a lot simpler than their previous efforts. This is most evident during songs like "Brave This Storm" where it mostly consists of riding the low E string with triplets mixed in and a relatively simple power chord chorus with a melody fill behind it. This simplicity makes the guitar riffs seem predictable, especially the first two riffs on "Strife." I could tell there was a harmony coming for them from a mile away.
Nick definitely has been a great addition to Trivium and his drum tracks show this. Coming from a grindcore background, his influences shine through with tight double bass prominent throughout the album. Paolo's bass parts are also solid throughout with even a bass solo in "Incineration: The Broken World." Corey's solo work throughout the album is also spectacular, they all add greatly to the songs rather than just being there by necessity. // 8
Lyrics: I think Matt has produced some good lyrics on this album. From gems like from "Villainy Thrives": "How can you harm a living thing thinking that it's your right / How can you defile a life / Deprive it of innocence? / For too long you have gotten away with murder / A fitting justice would be your painful execution / If only I could afflict you / Hurt you in the same way that you hurt / I just want to exact reprisal / Retribution calls." However I do believe that some of the lyrics get a bit repetitive at times, especially during "Strife" where the chorus lyrics are repeated four times with no variation to end the song. // 8
Overall Impression: In comparison to Trivium's other albums, this isn't anything like their old stuff. To me, this seems like a continuation of "In Waves" with simpler music and hooks rather than super aggressive thrash stuff. The songs that impressed me most were "Strife," "No Way to Heal," "Through Blood and Dirt and Bone" and "Wake (The End Is Nigh)." I loved the direction Trivium took with this, focusing more on melody than technicality however that being said it could almost be considered too simple and predictable at times. Hopefully their future material stays in this direction with their old styles mixed in more. // 7
alees68851, on november 01, 2013 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Trivium seem to have set a precedent; alternating exhilarating impressive releases such as 2005's "Ascendancy" and 2008's "Shogun," with patchier works such as 2003's "Ember to Inferno" and 2011's "In Waves." They have defined the nu-metal scene, where bands like Bullet For My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold have shriveled up. With each album offering us something new, we were unsure as to what we were going to get with their 6th studio album - "Vengeance Falls."
Trivium set a high standard with tracks 1 and 3, "Brave This Storm" and "Strife." These are classic anthemic melodic metalcore tracks, based around frantic riffing, weighty vocal melodies and charging solos. Track 3 "Strife" is a standout track, and was released as a single on August 20th. It starts off with a simple riff that gets heavier with every bar, and the build up with the drums creates a whirlwind of metal excellence. The verse slows down, increasing in tempo again before the chorus and Heafy's vocals stick with you all day; epitomised by a shred fest guitar duel before kicking into that killer chorus once more. I'm really impressed at how, Heafy, Beaulieu and bassist Gregoletto all contribute vocally. "Strife" is definitely the highlight of the album.
Being the title track to a Trivium album, you'd expect title track "Vengeance Falls" to be emphatic and heavy. It isn't, and is largely a disappointment. It never seems to get going, is very basic and seems lazy. For me, it is a weak point on the album. Groovy track 5 "To Believe" is another high performer. Fast paced, catchy and anthemic. It all builds to an euphoric outro, with lead shredding, Beaulieu screams, a bouncy riff and drums. Its a shame that the outro only lasted for half a minute. The next highlight "Incineration: The Broken World" offers more melodic riffage, heavier vocals, but that solo; the duel is reminiscent of "Like Fire to the Flies" or any other gem off "Ascendancy." An absolute beauty and on of the best Trivium solos you will hear.
The rhythmic partnership of Gregoletto and drummer Augusto seems to be gelling well. Gregoletto is a classy and tasteful bassist, but is largely underpowered by the other instruments. Hints of his excellence and power can be seen on "No Way to Heal" and a devilish intro to "Villainy Thrives." Augusto is a fantastic drummer and holds the rhythmic fort down solidly throughout.
The special edition has an extra 3 tracks, which include the same melodic heavy riffage we hear throughout the normal edition, but also features an unexpected but reasonable cover of "Skulls... We Are 138" originally by Misfits. You are not missing anything if you don't get the special edition, but if you want more of the same then it is recommended. // 8
Lyrics: If you are after Matt Heafy's death metal vocals, you won't find them here as he bravely reserves the more aggressive vocals for the breakdowns in some songs, and adopts a fantastic clean melodic vocal which impress throughout the album. This seemed risky after what happened with "The Crusade" but working with Draiman, he has increased his vocal range which can be heard on track 10 "Wake (The End Is Nigh)."
Final track "Wake (The End Is Nigh)" is centered around the improved vocals of Matt Heafy. It starts out with a clean riff, and a beautiful vocal performance by Heafy, hitting low notes that I never knew existed, but they are fitting and suitable. His passion is evident and the lyrics are another highlight "With my hands around your throat/ That's the way I like you most/ When you're choking on the feelings rushing out/ Time won't open up its wings/ Let me fall from Grace/ And lend into the flames/ I don't want to feel this love go cold/ I don't know how you opened this light before." It speeds up into another heavy melodic track, but is still very much vocal centered, until the outro when the solo takes over.
Overall Impression: "Vengeance Falls" fails to scale the heights of their best work, but is certainly a positive metal track, with an impressive blend of melody, crunchy riffs, shred fests, and emphatic choruses. This is one of the strongest metalcore tracks out there. The production by David Draiman is fantastic, and you can hear every crisp element superbly.
Overall, "Vengeance Falls" is a good metalcore album. Some parts could have been improved, most notably the intro to "No Way to Heal" and "Vengeance Falls," but throughout the 10 tracks you get the feeling Trivium have matured as musicians. They have given a reason for fans to forgive them for "The Crusade" as they are now leading the dwindling metalcore scene with a solid set of tracks, and even though it isn't their best work, it is still refreshing and glorious.
End transmission. // 8
DeadxFreedom, on february 11, 2014 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Florida's biggest metal band Trivium are back, and as always, on fantastic form with their sixth studio album, "Vengeance Falls." The band's latest offering is slightly different from the norm, in the fact that Disturbed and Device frontman David Draiman took on the task of producing the record. "Vengeance Falls" was produced at a studio in Austin, Texas and was mixed by Colin Richardson, who has previously worked with other legendary bands such as Fear Factory, Machine Head, Napalm Death and Slipknot.
At first, "Vengeance Falls" seemed to have a rather polarizing effect on fans of the band. Some loved the album, others hated it. Initially, as I am not too keen on Disturbed, I myself was part of the latter - though given a few more listens, the record has grown on me. David Draiman has a very unique style when it comes to his vocals and songwriting, and as such, his involvement in the writing process of Vengeance Falls is obvious on a few certain tracks. By all means, this is not a bad thing as Heafy's vocal range has, without a doubt, improved considerably. It's just that at a few points on the album, Matt's trademark vocal style seems to blend a little bit too much with Draiman's, which makes it feel like you're listening to a Disturbed track. This is my only minor gripe with the album overall. // 8
Lyrics: Prior to the release of "Vengeance Falls," band members stated in interviews that the songwriting would be some of the heaviest they've ever done, even heavier than "In Waves." Now this depends on each individual's definition of "heavy," but I think they were right. The songwriting has been, to an extent, stripped back to the basics. They have taken away all the unnecessary and superfluous shredding and guitar solos, whilst integrating uncomplicated but effective and heavy riffs which bring back a sense of brutality, reminiscent of some tracks from "Ember to Inferno."
Lyrically, Heafy has yet again, outdone himself. You need only listen to the track "Villainy Thrives" to understand what I mean. Matt isn't afraid to craft his lyrics to confront and challenge the wrongdoings in this world, and make the listener think. This is something I admire in him, as not many vocalists care enough to write lyrics which are actually meaningful these days. I personally have always found inspiration in Heafy's lyrics. For example, older tracks such as "Ignition," "Contempt Breeds Contamination" and "A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation," really struck a chord with me deep down. They made me take a look at myself and the way I treat the people around me and have ultimately helped me to improve my perspective on life, and generally better myself as a person. "Villainy Thrives," as well as other tracks on "Vengeance Falls," have now done the same. // 9
Overall Impression: The production values and mixing for "Vengeance Falls" are virtually flawless. Every instrument is perfectly balanced in the mix, complementing each other in just the right ways to create a unique sound, unlike anything Trivium have ever released before. One thing worth noting is bassist Paolo Gregoletto's work - too often with great metal albums, the bass is lost in the mix amongst the heavily distorted guitars. But with "Vengeance Falls," the bass is easy to pick out, which adds a new dimension to Trivium's already unique sound, filling out more of the low-end which has essentially been absent since "The Crusade." Paolo has a moment where he truly shines by implementing a bass solo in the track "Incineration - The Broken World."
"Vengeance Falls" genuinely sounds like a culmination of all of Trivium's work to date - blending the heavier styles from "Ember to Inferno" and "Shogun" with the more melodic, atmospheric styles from "In Waves" and "The Crusade" together perfectly.
In conclusion, "Vengeance Falls" is yet another astounding album added to Trivium's sonic arsenal, and whilst it took a while to grow on some, others fell in love with it instantly. For both old fans of Trivium and first-time listeners alike, this is not an album to be missed. // 8