Trivium, ‘Silence in the Snow’ – Album Review
Some bands keep a similar sound throughout their careers, while others change things up and try different styles. Trivium are definitely in the latter category. From metalcore to thrash to classic metal to hard rock, their sound has shifted a few times over their 15 year career. That tends to polarize, with some fans not wanting to accept change.
With their latest album, Silence in the Snow, Trivium’s sound has shifted again, though not dramatically. 2013‘s Vengeance Falls was produced by Disturbed’s David Draiman, and the song “Strife” became their highest charting single. Some of that more commercial sensibility can be heard on Silence in the Snow, but the heaviest influences are classic metal and power metal.
After the opening interlude “Snofall” that was written by the legendary Ihsahn, the title track incorporates elements of bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Frontman Matt Heafy doesn’t try to emulate Rob Halford or Bruce Dickinson, but he does show a decent amount of range on the track.
Trivum’s vocals have gone back and forth over the years from screams to no screams to screams again. This album is 100 percent melodic vocals, and after working with a vocal coach following some issues with his voice in 2014, Heafy’s singing is better than it’s ever been.
The guitar interplay between Heafy and Corey Beaulieu is excellent. That’s not surprising, as Trivium’s musicianship has always been their strong point. This is the first album for new drummer Mat Madiro, who was the band’s drum tech and had no previous touring or recording experience. He fits right in, whether it’s anchoring the proceedings or displaying flashier chops.
The production from Michael “Elvis” Baskette (Alter Bridge, Chevelle, Escape The Fate) is crisp and pristine. At times it’s a little too slick, but on tracks like the ultra-catchy “Until the World Goes Cold” it fits the bill.
There are other radio-friendly songs on the album as well such as “Rise Above the Tides” along with harder-edged tracks like “Dead and Gone” and “Beneath the Sun” that still have plenty of melody. One of the album’s best songs is the final track “Breathe in the Flames.” After a mellow beginning it kicks in with fast riffs, memorable melodies and a clever guitar solo before ending with a quiet acoustic section.
As with all Trivium albums, Silence in the Snow is bound to polarize simply because it’s different than their previous efforts. It features some of the best songwriting the band has done in quite a while. They’ve blended numerous styles into an album that gives a nod to their influences while maintaining their own identity.