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Trivium have been with us since they were wet-behind-the-ears, Metallica-worshipping kids landing awkwardly on the biggest stages in the world and soundly destroying them (their first appearance at UK’s Download Festival was the stuff of rock and roll lore).
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Since then the band have learned new skills and new ways to kick your ass and distilled them all into some of the strongest pure metal albums of the last decade.
And boy-howdy, they’ve done it again. What The Dead Men Say is massive. It should come with a neck-brace and a health warning. Trivium have gradually matured from Metallica fanboys to a powerful classic metal band in their own right and this album is something of a masterclass in how to make heads bang.
Punching hard with pure metal zeal, What The Dead Men Say raises the flag for modern metal and shows off the band as the lifers they are.
The talent on display here is truly world-class by any measure, with ludicrously tight drumming holding a fire to the endlessly-creative leads and wrist-wrecking riffs, and frontman Matt Heafy’s vocals have grown into a powerful instrument of their own. The pace here is frequently frantic, as are the twin-guitar solos that slice through many of the tracks here, but the band remain pinpoint-tight throughout. The careful craft that clearly went into this album may be undermined by some listener’s tendency to yell “Fuck yeah!” and bang their heads.
Early standout Catastrophist shows off the orchestral nature of the riffing and allows the band to flex their aggression and melody. Amongst The Shadows & The Stones is a seven-and-a-half minute chugging, shredding workout par excellence. Bleed Into Me is one of the slower tracks on the album and proves some extremely clever rock and roll chops as it leans into the melodic power of Heafy’s voice. Picking a favourite track may prove something of a Sophie’s Choice for many listeners.
Punching hard with pure metal zeal, What The Dead Men Say raises the flag for modern metal and shows off the band as the lifers they are. This is unapologetic and bold and aggressive and beautiful in all the ways that metal is supposed to be, and Trivium have set a dangerously high bar for any pretenders to their throne.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Catastrophist, Amongst The Shadows & The Stones, Sickness Unto You
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Queensryche