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Faith In The Future: Trivium Oversee The Passing Of Metal's Torch

Friday, 20 April 2018 Written by Jon Stickler

Something brutal this way comes.

Venom Prison, Power Trip and Code Orange are leading a new wave of young, forward-thinking bands that are tearing up the blueprints when it comes to creating heavy music. If you have any affinity for loud noises at all and haven’t heard them yet, you really haven’t been paying attention.

Having already defied conventions and combined elements of different genres while crafting three of metal’s most visceral releases in recent memory, these new torchbearers have now been pulled together to support Trivium on one of the most exciting tours of the year. The prospect of delving into the madness for almost five hours straight is a daunting, exciting one. Would I be a sweaty, triumphant mess at the end of it, or would it all go a bit Scanners?

Despite an absurdly early stage time of 6.30pm, everyone from old timers to newbies are waiting in line to get into the O2 Academy in the centre of Bristol. Clearly, metal is a big deal around here. And, in just half an hour, Venom Prison stomp their name into the souls of those who have just been introduced to their neck-wrecking fury.

Larissa Stupar's barbaric roar sends limbs flying throughout a set infused with crunching death metal, while explosive blasts from the drums keep the tone nasty as Abysmal Agony, the brooding Corrode The Black Sun, Devoid and the searing, 93 second Perpetrator Emasculator are dispatched. ‘Animus’, the band’s feral debut, is one of the best by a metal band in recent years, but it’s on stage where they can really rip your face off. And they're not alone.

There’s nothing quite like hearing bare-knuckle thrash played just like it sounds on record, is there? And that’s where Texas crossover heroes Power Trip really come into their element. Their 2017 second album, ‘Nightmare Logic’, began the process of making them a household name among metalheads young and old, keeping the spirit of ‘86 alive and staking its place among the likes of Slayer’s ‘Reign In Blood’, the Metallica classic ‘Master of Puppets’ and ‘Pleasure To Kill’ by Kreator. No hyperbole.

Vocalist Riley Gale jumps and howls as he charges around the stage like a rabid wolf throughout the menacing opening salvo of Soul Sacrifice and Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe). The band’s no nonsense approach, speed, and aggression barrels into the room during Crucifixation, Firing Squad and Manifest Decimation, but there’s more at play than a quick buzz.

The reason this band are as refreshing as they are terrifying is that this sort of power has been MIA for so long during performances by well-established, but ageing, veterans such as Anthrax, Testament, Kreator and Slayer. Legacies are pretty worthless unless someone picks up the baton, so thank fuck for groups like Power Trip.

Now, let’s talk Code Orange. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ll be aware of the trail they’ve blazed from the underground into the world of mainstream rock and metal. Formerly known as Code Orange Kids, the hell-raising Pittsburgh quintet are no longer children. They’re borderless, foreboding, blast-beat-dealing bruisers who waste no time in hauling you by the throat into a world of squealing feedback and thundering drums. Their set pulls mainly from last year’s Grammy nominated (!) major label debut, ‘Forever’, and hits like a train.

Bathed in menacing red light throughout their boundary-pushing set, they splice their hardcore roots with metalcore, chugging industrial, synths and even nu-metal, with Real and Bleeding In The Blur coming straight out of the blocks. Reba Meyers’ vocals on the latter temporarily disperse the swarm of fists and kicks for one of the biggest cheers of the night, but Kill The Creator, I Am King, Slowburn and Forever are akin to watching a graphic horror movie.

It takes guts to stack the undercard like this, but with chants of ‘Tri-vi-um! Tri-vi-um!’ filling the venue, it’s plain to see why the Florida metallers have such a fondness for the UK. Having gone from strength to strength since exploding onto the scene in the early 2000s, the band have built up a solid reputation for putting on a blistering shred-fest of a show. After what’s gone before, they better had.

After Iron Maiden’s Run To The Hills fades from the PA, they roar into life and open with the title track from their new LP ‘The Sin and the Sentence’, before levelling the place with a set primed for circle pits and colossal walls of death. They fly through cuts that span their entire career, including Ascendancy, Betrayer, Inception of The End, Like Light to the Flies, plus live staples Pull Harder On The Strings of Your Martyr and In Waves, and every riff, every roar from Matt Heafy, is delivered with sheer glee.

The dust will eventually settle on this tour, and kudos to Trivium for assembling a hell-raising bill. It speaks volumes about the faith in the future of metal when a heavyweight player in the modern scene backs the new blood contributing to its changing face. Between shows, Heafy is tweeting love for Rolo Tomassi and Conjurer, two more of the most exciting bands in British metal. “The UK music scene has something truly remarkable happening,” he writes. He’s not wrong, but the magic isn’t confined to these shores.

Trivium Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri April 20 2018 - MANCHESTER Academy
Sat April 21 2018 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton

Click here to compare & buy Trivium Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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