In the mid-1990s, Fear Factory introduced a series of tropes into the metal canon that …
For most musicians, the further removed they are from the music made as a teenager, the better. It’s up there with a parent bringing out baby photos to dangle in front of your friends for a cheap laugh. It’s a little confusing, then, as to why Matt Heafy—sole remaining original member of Trivium—has decided to relive his youth by reissuing the band’s debut, Ember to Inferno, recorded when he was all of 17 years old.
For one, the reissue arrives on no specific occasion or anniversary. It’s gratuitous in nature—and, at an exhaustive 25 tracks, a considerable slog to get through. Although described as a “treasure trove” for the band’s die-hards, one has to bluntly question as to whether there are any in 2016—or, at least, enough that would substantiate such a hefty release.
The reality is that Ember to Inferno itself has not exactly aged well. The remaster only emphasises the artificial over-production, the mimicry of the band’s heroes sticking out more than the prodigious nature of the teen-angst thrash.
The reality is that Ember to Inferno itself has not exactly aged well. The remaster only emphasises the artificial over-production, the mimicry of the band’s heroes sticking out more than the prodigious nature of the teen-angst thrash. Demos from around the time make up the remainder of the tracklisting, but given the close proximity they have to how they actually ended up sounding, it’s hardly a Beach Boys-level of sonic discovery.
Although the band would come closer to finding their footing on later releases—Ascendancy and Shogun come to mind—but that potential is only hinted at briefly among what is an overlong and underwhelming listen.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Like Light to the Flies, Pillars of Serpents
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Metallica, Lamb of God, that Roadrunner United album you forgot you had.