Trivium is back with their ninth studio effort, What The Dead Men Say, and deliver another well-rounded album that validates their songwriting abilities. This record encompasses all the different styles of Trivium we’ve heard for the past seventeen years. It has a glimpse of darkness that was prevalent on The Sin and the Sentence, the technical proficiency of Shogun, and the powerful and lavish clean vocals from Silence in the Snow. However, this record best compares to 2011’s In Waves due to the similar tracklist structure. The throat-ripping screams of “Dusk Dismantled” and “A Skyline’s Severance” are present on “Amongst the Shadows & the Stones” and the radio-friendly vibe of “A Grey So Dark” lives in the emotional and catchy “Bleed Into Me.”
Like most of their albums, Trivium kicks off with an instrumental tune that leads into the opening riff of the title track. The touch of acoustic guitars fading into the crunch of guitarist Corey Beaulieu’s tone builds up the proper excitement for a listener’s experience.
The self-titled song contains a chorus that will most likely get stuck in your head. Kudos to Trivium for releasing three top-notch singles that exhibit their varied arsenal. The self-titled track has powerful hooks. “Catastrophist” has that low-end tone and narrative songwriting. Then “Amongst the Shadows & the Stones” protrudes the dark, heavy side of Trivium we crave on The Sin and the Sentence.
In the essence of throwback nostalgia, “The Deviant” takes you back to 2004’s Ascendancy with the upbeat metalcore riff and frontman Matt Heafy’s charging vocals. The chorus highlights Heafy’s vocal range and his ability to control his voice. It’s so reassuring that he can reclaim his throating ripping screams that were prominent on Ascendancy and refined on Shogun. Hearing his screams on The Sin and The Sentence made me weary due to his history with blowing out his voice and sticking with clean singing on Silence in the Snow. Lo and behold, his screams now emerge throughout the record, especially on “Amongst the Shadows & the Stones,” which is the strongest track on the album. As for a non-single favorite, “Sickness Unto You” is a song that I have revisited very often. The lyrics were the first thing to jump out at me, “I felt your heart stop beating, with my own two hands. I felt my life lose meaning. I will never be whole again.” With the way the words are delivered and the tonality of Heafy’s voice, you are kept captivated with the growing aggression. The bridge and breakdown are an excellent, thrashy stop-gap to the conclusion of the song, displaying another instance of songwriting bliss.
Drummer Alex Bent is an absolute monster behind the kit and possesses a lot of talent. Since becoming the fifth drummer in the band’s history, he has been a perfect fit. Not only is he technically proficient, but he is excellent at deciding the correct pattern or beat for sections of songs. Take, for instance, “The Ones We Leave Behind,” the drums in the song are fantastic, and the fills are perfectly executed. Another example can be found in “Catastrophist,” as the use of the ride cymbal is clever and unique.
Overall, What The Dead Men Say is an exceptional album that really flaunts the maturity of Trivium in many ways. The band was able to compile all the different styles explored throughout their career and infuse them into a profound cohesive performance.
Trivium’s What The Dead Men Say releases on April 24th via Roadrunner Records. Order your copy here.