Trivium: What the Dead Men Say

GRAMMY-nominated band Trivium has been building a solid fan base by writing outstanding music since its beginning in 1999. Many thought they would never be able to surpass the success of 2017’s “The Sin and the Sentence,” but it seems like they are showing no signs of the limits of their potential.  Trivium decided to work with producer Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, Gojira) once again to bring us their ninth studio album, “What the Dead Men Say.”  It will be released April 24 on Roadrunner Records. 

The opening track, “IX,” is a nearly two minute long instrumental that sets the tone for what follows.  The song starts out with gentle fingerpicking and harmonic but soon swells with the sound of a more aggressive tone and the building drums transition into the title track. “What the Dead Men Say” was released as the second single only a couple of weeks ago and the music video already has over one million views on YouTube. Matt Heafy (vocals, guitar) and Corey Beaulieu (guitar) balance a unique versatility between their riffs and solos that make them a dangerous duo in their genre.

“Catastrophist,” was the first single to be released and is a perfect example of Trivium’s talent and command.  At six and a half minutes long, the song has ample time to showcase the dynamic each band member brings to the table.  Frontman Matt Heafy doesn’t hold back from showing off his range as a vocalist- from his tenor notes to his ferocious screams, he has proved he is a force to be reckoned with. 

Besides “IX,” the shortest track on the album is “Scattering the Ashes.”  It is one of the more melodic songs on the album and one of its highlights is Paolo Gregoletto’s pronounced bass line throughout.  In most metal albums it is hard to hear the bass lines but What the Dead Men Say has it right in the spotlight track after track. The low-end riff introing “Bleed Into Me” will send chills down your spine.

Since 2010, the band has seemed to have been cursed with the lack of a consistent drummer.  (They’ve had 4 since Travis Smith left in 2009.) Their current drummer, Alex Bent, joined the band in 2017 and based on the countless comments all over the internet, the consensus from fans is to hold unto him tightly! His footwork on “Bending the Arc to Fear” is impressive, but his playing on “Sickness Unto You” is unparalleled. The latter mention is a masterpiece in itself- thrash riffs, melodic singing, guitar solos, breakdowns, screams- it’s truly the perfect Trivium song.  “Amongst the Shadows and the Stones,” “The Defiant,” and “The Ones We Leave Behind” are all solid in their own right and sure to please even the most critical listeners.

In several recent interviews the band has summarized that this latest album is the conglomeration of their previous eight; and it shows.  Trivium has earned a spot as a pillar in the temple of modern metal. I would be surprised if “What the Dead Men Say” wasn’t nominated as album of the year.  It’s flawless.