TRIVIUM: “In The Court of the Dragon”

It’s not often I get to review a band’s new material in back to back years, but thanks to the extra time most bands had during the pandemic, fans around the world are getting to hear a lot of new and great music, and Trivium is no exception.  This Florida-based band is now putting out their tenth full-length album. “In the Court of the Dragon” will be released on October 8th through Roadrunner Records.

Fitting for their tenth album, “In the Court of the Dragon” starts with an instrumental intro called, “X.”  I personally enjoy albums with good instrumentals and this one was written by none other than Ihsahn, the Norwegian musician of the band Emperor.  “X,” full of ambience and choral music swells until the last second, where a dragon lets out a ferocious roar and the song transitions to the album’s title track.  “In the Court of the Dragon” was released as the album’s first single on July 8. Unless you’ve been living under a rock this summer, you already know how amazing this single is not only for Trivium, but for the genre in general.  Guitar World named it as “one of the standout metal tracks of the year.” They are not wrong!

The next track, “Like a Sword Over Damocles” is one of the catchiest songs on the album. Like the theme it represents, the song dangles incredible riffs, drumming, and vocals all the way through.  Finally, before the four-and-a-half minute mark, a killer solo drops in all its glory.  “Feast of Fire” is one of the more melodic tracks and was released as a single on August 12.  I particularly love hearing Paolo Gregoletto’s bass lines throughout the song. Trivium played this song live on Megadeth’s recent “Metal Tour of the Year” and the song was a massive success with the demanding crowd. 

The band’s latest single, “The Phalanx,” actually grew from a demo written during the band’s recording of their fourth album, “Shogun.” In a recent interview, bassist Paolo comments, “The Phalanx was like an old muscle car sitting in the driveway with no engine. It was a demo from Shogun that had the middle section removed for another song (Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis), demoed again on Silence In The Snow but ultimately scrapped, and now it has found its home on the new album.” To make their official music video, which was released on October 1, this quartet teamed up with The Elder Scrolls to give a truly unique visual experience to their new and lengthy single.  

The rest of the album holds an incredible amount of head-banging tracks.  “The Shadow of the Abattoir” starts out slowly with low melodic vocals, but builds with intensity to become an epic Trivium song.  “No Way Back Just Through” is a fast-paced thrashy song with a memorable chorus.  “A Crisis of Revelation” shows off some incredible solos from both electric and bass guitars, and the drumming on the entire album stands out as superb, especially on “Fall Into Your Hands.” I said it in my review of 2020’s “What the Dead Men Say,” and it’s worth repeating- Trivium must never let go of drummer Alex Bent.  He joined the band in 2017 and has given the band exactly what they need to continue pushing boundaries while maintaining Trivium’s recognizable sound.  Alex Bent, if you ever read this, your skills are unparalleled.  Keep it up my friend.

This album is a mythological epic that highlights the band’s twenty-two year career.  Few bands can survive over two decades, and fewer yet continue to put out albums that surpass their fans’ previous favorites.  These four men have found the secret to not only record phenomenal metal for an album, but they can perform it live with the same perfection and intensity.  With each album and each tour, Trivium cements itself as one of my all-time favorite bands. In his play, “King Lear,” William Shakespeare writes, “Come not between the dragon, and his wrath.” As I reflect on these words, I can’t help but think of the wrath Trivium unleashes on their genre with “In the Court of the Dragon.” Like the monster it is named after, this album dominates and reigns supreme.