Trivium
What The Dead Men Say


3.0
good

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (341 Reviews)
April 24th, 2020 | 440 replies


Release Date: 04/24/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Sin and the Snow part two.

For years now, Florida-based Trivium has had a bit of an identity issue. Since debuting a thrash-centric Ember To Inferno seventeen years ago that launched them into metal’s mainstream, the four piece has moved through a rigid evolution of sounds. Whether it be the obvious Metallica-esque nature of The Crusade, the unbridled angst of Ascendancy or the borrowing of styles that led to the immersive Shogun, Trivium have moved from one to sound to another. Shogun became the band’s stylistic tipping point, and achieved critical acclaim due to its technicality and focus on seven-stringed guitars. In light of the album’s success, In Waves, and the David Draiman produced Vengeance Falls, simply didn’t live up to the hype created by the albums that came before them. Take into consideration the group’s seemingly revolving door of drummers (“drummer out, drum tech in”) and it’s no wonder that Trivium’s creative juices would be inconsistent in the very least. It seemed that this “new Metallica” was caught in a musical slump of sorts. Despite the more mainstream and notably ‘back to roots’ albums a la In Waves, Trivium evolved again. In taking the more melodic and cleaner route on Silence In The Snow (which was met with a mixed reception from fans) the band lost some of its edge - but it’s here that What The Dead Men Say really starts to take shape.

What The Dead Men Say is largely a combination of the two records before it - but its triumphs only slightly outweigh the record’s missteps. At the album’s core is a hook led, catchy, and somewhat diverse showcase of Trivium’s songwriting ability. However, it’s bassist Paolo Gregoletto who handles most of the album’s lyrical creation. While talking with Apple Music, Gregoletto directly references media such as Total Recall, Bladerunner and The Shock Doctrine, and then ties those moods into current circumstances such as Coronavirus and the inevitable profiteering made by corporations during similar, trying times. The album’s contextual lyric base however, takes a back seat to the group’s instrumental prowess. This is especially noticeable in “Amongst the Shadows & the Stones”, - which pummels away at the listener with breakneck grooves, pummeling bass lines, and Heafy’s signature harsh tones - and “Catastrophist” which takes on an all too similar vibe - drawing the listener away from less than stellar lyrics. Yet, the record suffers slightly from clinically flat production. Alex Bent’s second effort with the quintet isn’t quite as punchy in its mixing as the Heafy and Beaulieu riff party, nor is it really diminished by the often flamboyant dual guitars. The record’s mixing simply works; it is versatile enough to carry each of the band’s elements evenly into the mix. His natural tendency to slip in cheeky fills and clean blast beats is particularly commendable during “Sickness Unto You”, and it’s largely Bent’s efforts here that lift this whole endeavour. Instead, it’s the overall quality of songs that hit or miss in equal measure.

The album’s title track, “Catastrophist” and “Amongst the Shadows & the Stones” (which are the album’s leading singles) are sure to be new Trivium anthems adapted to their live shows, but when the record dips into tracks like “Scattering the Ashes” or the lyrically lacklustre “Bleed Into Me”, momentum falters. While there’s little point denying Heafy’s harsh vocal talents, Trivium's new album is still marred by some inconsistent clean vocals. Take the verse and chorus cheese of Bleed Into Me” for example: As it bleeds into me/Let it sink in for you/Tell them the story/Tell them the truth. The lyrics themselves aren’t offensive, but Heafy’s delivery is forced, hampering the track’s reception and is all too reliant on hooks to relate them to their listeners. It’s these features all too prevalent, akin to patches of yellow snow in a field: and to be avoided at all costs. When taking into account that some of these tracks sound too similar to the band’s “Silence In The Snow”and lack a lot of the diversity seen by the singles - it’s no wonder the record lacks impact. “The Defiant” also seems blasé when compared to the singles - it’s rather formulaic, relying on clean sung chorus lines and obvious hooks without causing real offense. Tracks such as “The Defiant” are fine enough on their own, but not up to the same standards as the singles that came before them. What Trivium’s newest offering lacks in substance it tries to make up for in hooks, minus the bait.

Thankfully, Trivium’s latest studio effort leans towards a briefer and more digestible overall length. This leaner songwriting allows What The Dead Men Say to remain accessible, especially for those who may not have been enchanted by the group’s earlier efforts. Trivium has [finally] found some measure of identity after nine full-lengths by combining their previous efforts into a concise, if not mind-blowing, display of the band’s achievements. However, What The Dead Men Say fails to showcase a band moving from strength to strength, maintaining an inconsistency in the band’s music. With that said, they have found a measure of identity in their latest sounds. Trivium’s sounds may have some deep roots in the 80s thrash scene, but it's unmistakably modern metal is made for almost any audience - which is not such a bad thing for an act entrenched so deeply in what defines "mainstream" metal music.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2020


12681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Unlisted footnotes and relevant Apple link:

:http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=11473

:https://music.apple.com/us/album/what-the-dead-men-say/1499575032



veninblazer
April 24th 2020


11664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album rules m/

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2020


14345 Comments


Sweet review, as always.
I'm honestly not in the mood for Heafy & Co right now, but I'll check the album eventually.


Digging: Convocation - Ashes Coalesce

TheDudeShreds
April 24th 2020


11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wish for once there wouldn't be a new metal album that would go below an average rating of 4.0



Snake.
April 24th 2020


22163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

sir calm down this is a wendy's

heck
April 24th 2020


4642 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll have a baconator jr. and a small frosty

Sinternet
April 24th 2020


22520 Comments


"Can we PLEASE not have a new metal album go below a 4.0 average rating for once?



IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?"

literally the most retarded comment I've ever seen, literally every year end chart we have has about fifty lame uninspired metal albums above a 4 and every decent record outside of that sitting at like a 3.8, calm your sperg ass down

Digging: Jessie Ware - What's Your Pleasure?

Sinternet
April 24th 2020


22520 Comments


besides this is shitty fucking trivium who make music for 15 year olds looking for something slightly more versatile than avenged sevenfold, this ain't like cult of luna or some shit

Snake.
April 24th 2020


22163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

sint have you seen this dude's profile pic he was clearly born in the wrong generation

heck
April 24th 2020


4642 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sint bro you really need to go on some antipsychotics or smoke some weed or something because you seem to have a lot of pent up anger and aggression

Sinternet
April 24th 2020


22520 Comments


lmao his profile pic

since when do cover bands make money

Darius The Imposter
April 24th 2020


22350 Comments


"
Can we PLEASE not have a new metal album go below a 4.0 average rating for once?



IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?"

cringe

Thalassic
April 24th 2020


4973 Comments


"Can we PLEASE not have a new metal album go below a 4.0 average rating for once?

IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?"

Tears flying against the computer screen and snot crashing down on the keyboard

TheDudeShreds
April 24th 2020


11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Was going to change the profile pic but the file size is never right hahaha oh well.

TheDudeShreds
April 24th 2020


11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review though.

GhostB1rd
April 24th 2020


6275 Comments


Explain to me why the hell their last p.o.s. album has a 3.9.

Did they encourage their fans to create Sput accounts?

Snake.
April 24th 2020


22163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

ghost did you read the soundoff page it's a literal youtube comment section

TheDudeShreds
April 24th 2020


11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Alright, it was a wrong thing for me to say. Everyone has their opinions on music.

Snake.
April 24th 2020


22163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

bro no one is even talking to you

GhostB1rd
April 24th 2020


6275 Comments


I like how they didn't even bother going back to the older albums to rate them higher because they probably only listened to the new stuff cause they're 14 years old.



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