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Trivium - The Sin and the Sentence (Album Review)

Tuesday, 24 October 2017 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Up. Down. Up. Down. Sideways a little bit. Get off to throw up. A few people laugh. Get back on again. This is the rollercoaster of Trivium's career.

But, now eight albums deep, Florida's most motion-sick metallers have just bought themselves a fast-pass. After shooting to stardom with 2005's 'Ascendency' and going down the shitter the following year with 'The Crusade', they fought back in 2011 by way of 'In Waves'. And they’ve been languishing in limbo ever since.

'The Sin And The Sentence', though, has Trivium right back at the front of the queue. When they were barking on about wanting to be bigger than Metallica over a decade ago, 'The Crusade' didn't deliver.

'Shogun' came two years later, and was an absolute masterpiece, but nobody... well, nobody really cared. And maybe nobody cares now. But they really should. Because 'The Sin And The Sentence' is savage.

Clocking in at just shy of an hour, the record runs the gauntlet of Trivium's entire career, cherry picking the best moments and sticking them in a blender. The title track kicks everything off in ridiculous fashion: it’s progressive but direct, malicious yet majestic. Matt Heafy's screams offer blunt ripostes to the more traditional, polished clean vocals he started nailing on 2015's 'Silence In The Snow'.

And then there’s the fucking riffing, man. Heafy and Corey Beaulieu tag team over new drummer Alex Bent's versatile playing, serving up the twin-leads Swedish death metal pioneers In Flames have neglected since the exit of Jesper Strömblad.

And it just doesn't stop. Beyond Oblivion is a complete blastfest to begin with, giving way to gang vocals that lend credence to the metalcore tag sometimes slapped upon the band. But then the chorus. That chorus. And then the... the blastbeats. The chest-thumping, bicep-flexing rush when Heafy's screams take over. This is proper bit between the teeth, triumphant metal.

And if you like metal, you'll like 'The Sin And The Sentence'. It's really that simple. There’s thrashing melodeath on stuff like Betrayer and there's a tech metal bounce on The Wretchedness Inside. Solos are sprinkled throughout and never stray into being self-indulgent, always making way for the incessant, relentless groove Paulo Gregoletto sets up on the bass. The Revanchist and Thrown Into The Fire, the album's parting shots, deliver that grandiose, epic feel most of the 'Shogun' numbers boasted and then it's over. Sixty minutes of metal bliss.

‘The Sin And The Sentence' is near-perfect. It's an immense body of work that sits next to 'Ascendency' and 'Shogun'. If there's any justice, this record will unite fans of all metal genres under one dishevelled umbrella. It's a piece of art that has enough common threads running through it to do what 'The Blackening' did for Machine Head. The quality's there, and if people don't get it... well, fuck 'em.

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