Review Summary: A perfect distillation of the Trivium sound so far.
What the Dead Men Say. A perfect distillation of the Trivium sound so far and a great progression from what they did with previous album The Sin and The Sentence. A blend of their Ascendancy heavy side, the Silence in the Snow melody, with progressive flourishes of Shogun. Arguably their best attempt so far at combining all the Trivium elements in one album, like previously mentioned Sin album but also prior album In Waves. With enough listens you will soon be picking up elements from each Trivium album so far. However, if you are not a fan of the Trivium style, this album is unlikely to win you over.
Production values are great and clear on this album. Each instrument is easy to detect in the mix, but special mention must be made for Paolo Gregoletto's bass. In a lot of metal albums, the bass can seem to get lost in the mix. That is not the case here. it stands loud and proud and complements everything else.
The drum work once again, after introducing the drummer Alex Bent on the previous album, proves he is the best drummer they have had. Able to easier shift from technical, to brutal, to soft. There is always some interesting drum work going on.
Guitar wise you should know what you are getting by now from these guys. Great dual melodies and harmonies between Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu. A mix of metalcore, thrash, melodic death metal, but there are some new influences thrown in. There is a positive hint of Gojira on some of the riffs. Of course, great solos are a given.
Vocally, Matt Heafy improves on what he was doing on Sin and the Sentence. Managing to improve the clean vocals so they soar, with crushing screams and growls. it is great to hear him stick with this approach and not go the all clean approach of Silence in the Snow album.
What didn't work for me on this album was Bleed Into Me. A slower and mostly clean vocal affair. Similar to Heart From Your Hate from the previous album, but not as interesting, and unfortunately breaks up the flow of an otherwise fantastic album.
If you enjoy what Trivium have done so far, you will find a lot to enjoy from this album. If you enjoy metalcore (although Trivium don’t easily sit in that genre) these guys are leading the pack if you were to compare them with Bullet For My Valentine or Killswitch Engage.
Recommend songs to check out: The Defiant (this song has a very strong Ascendancy feel), Amongst the Shadows and the Stones, Sickness Unto You; or if you want the lighter side done well - Scattering the Ashes.