Review: Trivium – Silence in the Snow
A strong opinion that is currently widely believed around most of the community of metal fans is that for a band to be deemed truly heavy or metal, the vocals have to be harsh and throaty. If there is no screaming, some would have you believe that means it is not heavy or metal. Keep this particular thought in mind as we look at Trivium’s new album, Silence in the Snow, as this album has no screaming at all. Is it any good? Is it still metal?
Silence in the Snow is Trivium’s seventh studio album to be released and their first since Vengeance Falls, which was released in 2013. Vengeance Falls was released to a slightly muted fanfare. It was a good album, but not the brilliance some have come to expect from the Florida band. It can be argued that Trivium have never made a bad album, with above average effort The Crusade (2006) being their weakest. To be fair, they set the bar pretty high with 2005 release Ascendancy, which is still an absolute classic. With Silence in the Snow, they have come very close to that level.
First things first. Lead singer Matt Heafy’s vocals sound absolutely amazing throughout the 13 tracks on offer and the lack of screaming is not a problem as the songs themselves benefit by not having any and allowing Heafy to lay his deep, powerful voice down without using standard metal style vocals. Screaming vocals can be good when used correctly. With these songs, it was absolutely the right idea to not use them. His vocals are backed up by some truly stellar guitar work by Corey Beaulieu and the rhythm section of bassist Paulo Gregoletto and drummer Mat Madiro, this being the first album he has fully featured on.
In terms of the songs themselves, there are some stand outs, many of which have been released with videos already. Blind Leading the Blind is a fairly fast paced effort with an absolutely soaring chorus, which is a theme on the album. The title track is laced with a moody atmosphere, which is helped by the dark intro track Snøfall, which reminded me of the intro theme to the movie Aliens, which is a strange reference. But, the stand out track is Until the World Goes Cold, which is a slower paced track but another with a thoroughly beautiful chorus that, like Blind Leading the Blind, absolutely soars. The rest of the tracks on the album are all vital parts of the package. At first, they seemed a little dull to me, but with repeat listenings, I could see they are a vital part of the album and add to the whole experience. This was very much an album for me that took a few listens before I truly appreciated it for it was.
Silence in the Snow is a fantastic album and easily Trivium’s best since Ascendancy. It is filled with strong vocals, intricate instrumental work and massive songs. It shows that screaming does not mean heavy and it should be an album that exposes the band to even more fans. After all this time and work, they deserve it.
by Paul Barclay