Review Summary: In defense of the rating assigned the number three.
Listen, I'm not out to try and convince you that Trivium's Vengeance Falls
is the greatest album 2013 has to throw at us, but I sure as hell can tell you that Vengeance Falls
is getting a lot more hate than it deserves.
You see, that South Park episode about how people need to just home in on a certain person (or in this case, a band) and just invoke an unnatural hatred for the sake of hatred? It's a fairly accurate representation of how the musical community uplift and damn a band in the bat of an eye. Sure, Trivium don't have the social insanity issues that plague a celebrity like Brittany Spears, but they're about the closest mainstream metal gets outside of another St. Anger
. Ever since The Crusade
was the foolish darling of a Rolling Stone article that heralded its lack of screams and promoted the group as the next Metallica, the discerning have cast a suspicious, if not snobbish, glare upon Trivium - and it's not entirely unwarranted.
You must try to understand: Trivium really are
the next Metallica, for better or worse. Listen to the riffs on Vengeance Falls
and consider the structures, sound, and speed of tracks on Ride the Lightning
or Master of Puppets
in contrast to their contemporaries. There were albums that were far faster, more aggressive, edgier, and more creative by '84 and '86, but does that stop those albums from being enjoyable? Hell no! And neither does it stop Vengeance Falls
from being a good, mindless thrash from start to finish.
At its core, the choruses of Vengeance Falls
are catchy, the solos are fun, and the riffs are headbang-ready. The song structures are more simplistic than those on Ascendancy
and the album has a glaring imbalance favoring Heafy's clean approach over screams which would easily add character to many of its tracks, and those are the real issues which hold Vengeance Falls
from being anything special. They do not
hold it back from being enjoyable
Some will hype up David Draiman's involvement in this album, but, to be honest, Heafy's vocal approach and phrasing don't vary greatly enough from In Waves
for me to consider him as a major influence on this approach and neither does the low and heavy riffing prominent on a few songs and used as interludes in others. It's not a nu metal influence or any such nonsense, it's just a sign of the times and, honestly, a decent adaptation of the low-end being used all around metal to the thrashy Trivium sound. No more, no less. It's not exceptional
, but it has utility
We are all too often overprivileged by our access to "all of the music" these days and, due to our knowledge of 18 different records released this year which are worthy of the elusive "5/5," we discount good, solid music as "*** tier," "too mainstream," and whatever stupid and baselessly homophobic or racial slur is rotating around the basement network of elitist neckbeards with too much time on their hands to masturbate and listen to the ultra-super-duper-quadruple-fx-HD mix of Lulu
. But we could all be better than that.
is an album with utility
. Say what you will, there will always be room for an album like this to rally fans at sports games, to pump iron to, to up the pace of a slow work day, and hell, even to to chant along with - be it at home or at a show, if you're among those still willing to associate yourself with a "mainstream" act. And why not? Why do you really care so much what the ballscratching elite of the internet have to say about your taste in music? Nut up and make up your own mind.