Review Summary: Another mediocre release from a band capable of much more.
Shogun was awesome. It was the album in which Trivium finally seemed to be coming to terms with themselves and what it takes to write great music. They were challenging themselves and more importantly they sounded inspired. So when In Waves was released 3 years later it came as quite a shock that Trivium had decided to not follow up on any of the the progression from Shogun, but to do a complete 180 back into the safe territory of radio friendly, mainstream metal. Apart from a few decent tracks, In Waves proved to be a disappointing and often lifeless record. And now here we are, 2 years have passed and the boys have released another album that for the most part serves as a continuation from the sound they had on In Waves, and again proves to be a fairly lifeless and boring record.
While nothing on here is bad, it's just not very interesting. There's still the catchy chorus' and melodic singing, this time with David Draiman from Disturbed adding his own mark onto the vocals, which is completely unnecessary. Heafy has a decent singing voice and changing his style and adding effects onto them just come off as unnecessary, tacky even. Listen to Strife and see for yourself. They're awful and don't fit Heafys vocals at all, and it's a shame it happens in more than one track. And while his harsh vocals are used sparingly, the trade off isn't any better.
The guitar playing and drumming is passable, but again nothing to write home about. The typical Metalcore riffs are played and solos are thrown around while Nick bashes his kit. While at certain times each are given their own time to shine, it never amounts to anything more than a few seconds of pounding double bass here or a nice lead there. Again, it's a shame that guys that have proved that they can play technical and fun music are limited to keeping it simple.
It's a shame, really. All the progress and maturation they showed on Shogun gone in the blink on an eye for what could only be more mainstream success and radio play, and for that Trivium have suffered, musically speaking. While it's not a bad album, Vengenace Falls proves once again that Trivium aren't interested in making a timeless record, more intersted in hearing themselves on the radio. Maybe one day they'll be inspired enough to move outside of their safety net again. Until then, throw Trivium in with the rest of the mainstream metal acts that sound exactly alike.