Album: Silence In The Snow
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: October 2nd, 2015
The reason I wanted to review the new Trivium album is this: it bothered me no one else picked it. Because honestly I had never listened to a Trivium album before, so I thought to myself: “If I’m going to review this, I’m gonna have to delve into their discography first in order to write a decent review”. And you know, that’s something I didn’t really look forward to, because Trivium never really appealed to me in any way. I had heard of them before, many times, but they just didn’t seem like my kind of band… Luckily I googled this album before deciding to review it. And what caught my attention were all these people constantly comparing this album to all of their previous releases. Because it turns Trivium isn’t the kind of band that sticks with a certain sound and builds on that. Instead they prefer to change things up with every new release. So then I had this (brilliant!) idea: I’m not going to listen to any of their previous releases. Instead I’ll base my opinion on this album alone. So this way I hope to be a little more objective than many other long time fans. Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with it.
First of all, this album wasn’t anything musically inspiring. It’s a straightforward heavy metal album with some minor thrash and metalcore elements woven into it. And I don’t mind that at all, to be clear. Just saying that because of what I said earlier. It’s not because they apparently change their sound quite often, that they’re therefore renewing in any way. On the contrary, some Iron Maiden or Metallica or references are quite easily made. But don’t get too exited by reading these names, because the whole album dwells in mediocrity.
That was however not my initial impression. Because right from the start, the album’s symphonic intro knew to excite. It sounds graceful and elegant, but at the same time it has this sinister undertone. It creates an eerie atmosphere that I really, really enjoy. So I was a little impressed by Trivium right away… Turns out the legendary Isahn of Emperor wrote the intro, though. But you know what? Whatever… It’s a great intro and that’s all that counts.
The intro smoothly merges into the title track ‘Silence In The Snow’, that starts off with bombastic drumming followed by some heavy, groovy riffs that are hard not to bang your head to. But the rest of this track isn’t all that heavy actually. It’s a an airy, melodic track with Heafy showing off some great vocal capabilities and a respectable vocal range. ‘Blind Leading The Blind’ is another good track, featuring some great chemistry between guitarists Heafy and Beaulieu. They seem to complement each other very well.
This is where most of the fun ends unfortunately. I’m not going to hold back here, ‘Dead And Gone’ is just a dreadful track. The only thing that saves this track just a little bit is Mat Madiro’s drum performance. Actually, he delivers a pretty solid performance throughout this entire record. Encyclopedia Metallum tells me he’s only been in the band for a year now. Definitely keep the guy, I’d say. The other band members are far from bad musicians either, but this track just doesn’t show any of that. Now ‘The Ghost That’s Haunting You’ features a pretty catchy chorus, I must admit (just like ‘Rise Above The Tides’). However, again, instrumentally this track doesn’t offer anything interesting. Nothing at all.
It’s the other way around on ‘Pull Me From The Void’, where the upbeat, power metal-esque riffs and obvious Dio influences are quite enjoyable, but the chorus is extremely tedious. ‘Until The World Goes Cold’ is more of a ballad, and it’s again not even that bad. But why, oh why, is that braindead breakdown in there? Seriously, I’ll admit I’ve never been a fan of breakdowns, but this… this is not even trying. This is exactly what I would tell my friends laughing what 99% of all breakdowns sound like. Level of creativity = below zero.
So you get it, every time something enjoyable presents itself they kinda kill it again with a lousy breakdown, irritating chorus or just weak riffs. And it’s a shame because you can hear the full potential of every track and then by the end you’re left unsatisfied. ‘The Thing That’s Killing Me’ is probably the only track after ‘Blind Leading The Blind’ that I enjoyed from beginning to end. The vocals are not really my thing, but it has some good song writing at least! Some powerful riffs and tight drumming. The last track start out promising as well, great intro, but then shifts to this mid-tempo, boring style of riffing, and they (you guessed it) kill the moment again.
To sum this album up, I’d say it’s really all about what you prefer. It’s not a disaster, but it felt to me as if they wrote almost every single song on this record around its chorus. As if song writing came second place. Good examples of this are ‘The Ghost That’s Haunting You’, ‘Dead And Gone’ and ‘Rise Above The Tides’. So if you’re one of those people that finds it more important to be able to sing along to his favourite tracks, with the song writing suffering as a result, then give this a spin. But I’m not. The music here is just not nearly compelling enough. So all in all a very average record.
2. Silence In The Snow
3. Blind Leading The Blind
4. Dead And Gone
5. The Ghost That’s Haunting You
6. Pull Me From The Void
7. Until The World Goes Cold
8. Rise Above The Tides
9. The Thing That’s Killing Me
10. Beneath The Sun
11. Breathe In The Flames
Total Playing Time: 43:13