TriviumIn The Court Of The Dragon

✦✦✦✧ This is Trivium’s best album in a decade. On top of everyone’s already ridiculous shredability, Matt Heafy’s vocals are vastly improved, if a little more metalcore than is strictly advisable — his low-rent Hetfieldisms only show up toward the end of the album, thank goodness. And the band’s trademark small-plates approach to metal remixing is more cohesive and sensible here than ever before.


TriviumWhat The Dead Men Say

✦✦✧✧ This is a bit of a step down from predecessor “The Sin And The Sentence,” but there’s still plenty of the band’s metal-for-the-love-of-metal all over the album. There’s also a conspicuous accessibility in a lot of the material here that might excite the SiriusXM metal crowd, but doesn’t really do much for me.


TriviumThe Sin And The Sentence

✦✦✦✧ This is the best and most interesting Trivium album since 2011’s “In Waves.” It’s shreddily heavy even when it’s not trying to be (dude, blast beats!), even as the band suppress their muscularity long enough to tick the other checkboxes. As always, Trivium are more transparent than most with their influences and “this-sounds-just-like”s, but the unpredictability of their mood swings helps offset that.


Knotfest Japan Full Report

Live Report :
Knotfest Japan 2014
Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan
November 15-16, 2014

November 15

Completely sold out, Knotfest Japan launched in the crisp, cold morning with two opening bands, including the Japanese hardcore band Crystal Lake. Their brief set got the crowd warmed up, with hardcore fans “picking up change” in the pit and the rest of us head-banging.


TriviumVengeance Falls

★☆☆☆ A couple of shining moments in the back half of this album (including sublime leads by Corey Beaulieu, and a fun-enough palate cleanser of a Misfits double cover) can’t save an otherwise dreary and forgettable 47 minutes. You can really smell David Draiman all over “Vengeance Falls”… and it doesn’t smell good.