Trivium- ‘What The Dead Men Say’ Review

With the release of their long-awaited ninth studio album, What The Dead Men Say, Trivium are back with a refreshing approach to their signature sound.

Three years since their remarkable The Sin and The Sentence album was released, Trivium are back with their latest album What The Dead Men Say (released via Roadrunner Records).

Perfectly balanced on the tightrope that enables them to capture something new whilst still remaining loyal to their distinctive sound, the band incorporate a mature, refreshing approach to their latest album.

Looking back to their past, What The Dead Men Say begins in a way reminiscent to their monumental 2011 album, In Waves. Beginning the album with the instrumental ‘IX’, an atmosphere of suspense and adrenaline is generated in just less than two minutes- capturing undivided attention from the second it begins. Gradually developing, the song subtly builds intensity as it comes to it’s close, teasing listeners with a taste of the fast-paced, hard-hitting album that is about to follow.

As seen in In Waves, the captivating song that opens the album fades seamlessly into the eponymous single. Providing the intense sound they are most associated with, Trivium use the song, ‘What The Dead Men Say’, as the perfect climax to the adrenaline created in ‘IX’- kicking off the album in a way determined to turn heads. 

‘Catastrophist’, ‘Bending the Arc to Fear’ and ‘The Ones We Leave Behind’ are songs to keep an eye out for live, with aggression and technicality coming out in full force, guaranteeing an eruption of energy for those who get the chance to see them perform.

Whilst still clinging onto their signature harmonised guitar riffs, Trivium have adjusted many of their choruses to have a more mainstream and digestible sound- something not traditionally associated with the band. This new instalment allows What The Dead Men Say to become increasingly mainstream and accessible for wider audiences, yet still retain their distinctive sound.

‘Amongst The Shadows And The Stones’, ‘The Defiant’ and ‘Scattering The Ashes’ perfectly display the signature vocals of Matt Heafy and precise, technical drumming of Alex Bent, yet, embeds elements that show blatant influences from Iron Maiden, Slipknot and Korn. However, whilst loyal to the band’s strengths, What The Dead Men Say also experiments with what can only be described as a new-found maturity.

Moments of refined vocal melodies alongside technical, funk-inspired basslines show Trivium have refined their sound- experimenting with new genres and giving a refreshing sense of diversity to their music.

Although they incorporate their staple, thrashy sound throughout the majority of the album, it feels as though the album is underpinned by a more melodic, rhythmic sound than previously seen in hits such as ‘The Sin And The Sentence’ and ‘Blind Leading The Blind’.

These nuances hint that a less-energetic future may be later installed for the band as ‘Bleed Into Me’ and ‘Sickness Unto You’ gently introduce elements of the downtrodden, distorted vocals associated most namely with Corey Taylor and Layne Staley.

Following the immense ‘Bending The Arc To Fear’, a song intended to be played live and to be played loud, the album draws to a close with ‘The Ones We Leave Behind’. Toying with new techniques as it progresses, the song leaves listeners satisfied with what they would expect from Trivium, yet inquisitive as to what the next album will bring.

Regardless of what is installed for the future of the band, What The Dead Men Say is arguably Trivium’s most diverse album to date. Exemplifying their signature sound whilst experimenting with new techniques throughout the album, the band use these subtle nuances to give their music a refreshing lease of life. Regardless of your attitude towards Trivium, there is something that every listener can appreciate in the album as the members achieve the perfect blend of intensity alongside a more mainstream, accessible sound. 

What The Dead Men Say is out now via Roadrunner Records and available on all streaming platforms.

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