Trivium – Vengeance Falls: Album Review

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More like Vengeance Fails, am I right? In all honesty my expectations were somewhat high for Trivium’s sixth album Vengeance Falls after all of the buzz surrounding the release since January 2013 and the fact they were proclaiming it was going to be heavier than anything they’ve released before.

When I heard David Draiman (vocalist for jizzum guzzling metal band Disturbed) was going to be producing this album, I knew it was time to lower my expectations by about 1000 percent.  Upon my first listen of Vengeance Falls it was immediately obvious that Draiman has had input on some of the melodies and riffs on this record.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love older Trivium material and I am a firm believer that Shogun is the best thing Trivium have ever written and every album that has come after that has slowly, but surely got progressively worse as Trivium continue their trip down the yellow brick road to the castle of mainstream metal.

Lyricall, front-man Matt Heafy can’t seem to let go of the whole waves theme thing, in the first track “Brave This Storm” which has the chorus:

The waves keep crashing over 
They pummel me, over and over 
I don’t think I can ever brave this storm 

Fortunately as far as I am aware anyway, this is the only track that uses waves as a metaphor, which leads me to believe it might have been a b-side to their last full-length In Waves. In-fact, compared alongside their previous effort, some of the other tracks honestly sound like they could have been left-overs from In Waves.

A few tracks in and you come across the track, “To Believe” replace Heafy’s James Hetfield like vocals with David Draiman and you have a Disturbed song. Seriously, listen to this track and tell me that it doesn’t sound like Disturbed wrote it… Hardly surprisingly considering who produced it, but what the actual fuck?

This is a disappointing album. All of the tracks sound the same, Matt Heafy sounds bored and uninspired, comfortable in his own skin and no longer motivated to push the boundaries any more. He’s never had a good vocal range, but we’ve heard him do better than he does on this album.

To prove a point to myself, I played this album from start to finish on my second listen without having the playlist in-front of me and for the first few tracks, I couldn’t honestly tell you where one track started and when one finished and that is an honest observation. I have a cross-fade on my player, so the usual silence between tracks I never hear,  but seriously listen for yourself.

I am by no means a production professional, but what has Draiman done to Trivium? The cymbals on the drums sound like glass, the snare drum sounds like an empty plastic bucket and the guitars sound mostly sterile except the intro to Strife which undeniably has one of the best riffs and guitar tone on the album.

Every song is in the key of C#, every song has the same chorus chord progression and the lyrics are as generic and unoriginal as ever. Heafy is still writing about no remorse, wars and braving storms like he has the last couple of albums. The only decent aspect of this album are the solos, Trivium have always had fairly decent solos and I find myself on this album skipping forward to the solos and then onto the next track.

It’s hard to believe Trivium are the same band that wrote Ascendancy and Shogun. What happened to the band that once showed so much potential and talent?

Rating: 5 out of 10.