"The Sin And The Sentence" By Trivium
Released Oct 20, 2017
Genre: Thrash Metal/Traditional Heavy Metal
While many bands prefer to stick to one consistent style throughout their careers with little exploration, bands like Trivium boldly explore and try something new with every release. Trivium have made change their norm from the beginning and while this trend has been met with varying degrees of criticism and acclaim from critics and fans alike it has arguably been the reason the band has managed to stay a hot name in the metal world for over a decade. You never know for sure what you're going to get with them but it's likely to be interesting. A smart strategy for a band that was christened "the next Metallica" when they were still teenagers.
Their latest release however seems to be the first Trivium record to reach for inspiration from the band's past. The Sin And The Sentence sports elements from several of their previous albums. The heaviness and technical skill of Ascendancy and Shogun. The catchy songwriting of In Waves. The powerful melodic vocals of Silence In The Snow. It's as if Trivium have recorded a greatest hits album of all original material and longtime fans of the band's discography should be able to find plenty traits that they are familiar with.
A new unique addition to the band's style and its roster is drummer Alex Bent, formerly of Battlecross. Bent makes his presence firmly known on the record and acts as the secret weapon behind the album's power. His active and dynamic style drives every song forward and matches the technicality the rest of the band prides itself on. The return of blast beats adds to the heaviness of the record as well overall giving The Sin And The Sentence Trivium's best percussive performance since original drummer Travis Smith was in the band.
As for the actual songs there's a lot of diversity to them. The opening title track sets the tone of the album from the get go displaying a bevy of different elements. It opens with an explosion of instrumentation with high tempo double kicks and glossily produced tremolo picking. It then abruptly tones down the verse to highlight Matt Heafy's now well trained and dramatic vocal style that was honed on Silence In The Snow. The heavier chorus features the return of Heafy's growled vocals overlapped with his melodic singing and a dirty guitar groove. Blast beats are prominently featured in the song as well and is perhaps Bent's best and most entertaining drum performance on the album.
Songs like "Betrayer" and "Sever The Hand" seamlessly blend heavy and melodic elements with a quality not seen from the band since Shogun. A consistent trend for much of the album. However the band excels at going full melodic on tracks like "The Heart From Your Hate" and "Endless Night" with anthemic hooks and beautiful twin guitar leads. The band also show's how heavy they can get as well on the punishing tracks "The Revanchist", "Thrown Into The Fire", and notably on "The Wretchedness Inside". The last of those see Trivium go more simple in their aggression than most of their work with a catchy, chuggy swing groove and features primarily screamed vocals outside of the chorus. The track reminds me "Black" from the In Waves album with its relative simplicity and directness.
The Sin And The Sentence is a culmination of Trivium's entire career. Every record recorded previous to it was necessary for its own creation. And with that combined experience and knowledge this album arguably surpasses all of them. At the very least this record is in the debate for the band's best work right along side Shogun and Ascendancy. Aggression, melody, songwriting, technical skill and heart are all to be found with this album. A record made by pure metal devotees that have honed their craft to the highest level. The Sin And The Sentence is a must buy metal album that reminds everyone why Trivium were so hyped when they first broke through to notoriety.