Review Summary: While it isn't the worst Trivium album ever, it proves that David Draiman should just stick to Disturbed.4 of 11 thought this review was well written
Trivium has become one of most well-known mainstream metalcore bands known to America, and possibly the mainstream metal world. Ever since their second album Ascendency gained them the big breakthrough that got people to listen to them, they’ve been making music that has been..well...not so good. Sure some albums were great…but others were, well, not so great. (The Crusade come to mind) Their latest album is pretty much in that “ehh” category. It’s nothing really new from what Trivium has to offer really. It’s just Trivium doing what they do best…kind of.
Now being honest, the problem isn’t that any of the songs are bad; it’s just that it’s nothing new or creative. The album starts off with “Brave This Storm,” which in theory; is basic metal music. Yeah you have great guitar, some bass, and drums to make it complete. It’s too plain to make it stand out to what Trivium has done in the past. In fact, what I just said is basically the entirety of the album. The whole record doesn’t have that “wow” factor, or anything for that matter to make you say, “Gee, this is a pretty damn good record.” Songs like “No Way to Heal” or “To Believe” do have those catchy moments that get your interest and all, but are never really memorable in the first place. “The End of This War” tries to be original at first, but again it turns out to be nothing fantastic. More heavy guitars and pounding drums, which is of course, again, is typical for these guys to be playing. The overall sound of Vengeance Falls is once again, unoriginal. In fact, some songs sound like watered down Disturbed songs, and we have David Draiman to thank for that. It’s not that he’s a bad producer; it’s that he badly produced this album in particular. He practically made this album sound like another Disturbed record. Boy he must miss working with them that much if this was the best he could do. “Brave This Storm” and “Villainy Thrives” in particular definitely has the most Disturbed-ish sound to it. Sometimes the vocals have that Draiman sound to it and even the lyrics in some cases sound like something Disturbed wrote. Come on, even in The Crusade, they at least tried something different and challenged themselves. Here, they practically piggy-backed off of Draiman’s back and he had to hold their hand throughout the recording process his way.
However, the one thing that has definitely improved in this record is Matt Heafy’s vocals. Yeah, sure they do sound a little…Disturbed-ish, but Heafy’s screaming vocals have definitely improved throughout the years. Looking back on their first two albums, the band was plagued by the atrocious vocals that only a mother could love…that is if that mother was a head-banging lover of heavy metal music. But after The Crusade, Matt’s voice showed improvement on both Shogun and In Waves, and Vengeance Falls is no exception to that. Sure his voice isn't perfect by all means but he has certainly matured over the years, his screaming is no longer strained, and his singing is a lot clearer than what is was back in when Ascendency was released. You can actually understand what he singing, both in his heavy and clean vocals. The lyric-writing is also improved in a way, which was something that Trivium was never really good at doing. They aren’t exactly the metal version of Nickelback in terms of songwriting, but the lyrics that they’ve written in the past never really had any meaning to them. They would just sing about abuse, or murders or some sort of Mythology story (look up “He Who Spawned the Furies” if you’re not getting at what I’m talking about). And while they do sound like Draiman co-wrote them, Vengence Falls actually does have some meaningful songs in them, such as “Incineration of a Broken World” which talks about how the world is literally falling into pieces. Going back to the “not any of the songs are bad” thing, there are a few decent tracks. The title track and “Strife” are probably the best songs in the album which consists of some very catchy riffs and overall good vocals. “Incineration of a Broken World” is also a decent track with great guitar solos, and one in particular that is similar to that in “Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis” and again, great vocals. The final track, “Wake (The End is Nigh)” is probably the most meaningful song and is probably one of the best-written songs that Trivium has made so far. Other than that, there’s nothing much else that’s worth your time
So overall, Vengeance Falls does nothing to move the band forward in their careers. They’re buried too deep in their comfort zone to really do something groundbreaking or remarkable. Yeah there are a few good songs and all, but again, nothing spectacular. I can’t really call it a “bad” release because, well, there is some good in it, just not as much as it should be. Trivium really worked their asses off to promote this album and make it look like it was going to be the best release they ever came up with. Turns out, we just simply get another Trivium album…nothing more. And while Vengeance Falls may certainly get fans to buy this album, it’s not going to cause a huge amount of people to like their Facebook page, and if there are any, it will probably consist of mostly Disturbed fans.
Incineration of a Broken World
Wake (The End is Nigh)