On Sunday evening, October 9th, thousands of Trivium fans poured into The Myth in Maplewood, Minnesota to watch the sixth show of “The Deadmen and Dragons Tour.” It was evident that the crowd was ready for great music. The band, also, was ready to play songs from their last two albums- several of which fans didn’t get a chance to hear when the band was supporting Megadeth on the “Metal Tour of the Year” last fall. This time, with Trivium headlining, we were treated to a longer setlist and several great supporting bands. For over four hours, the crowd was unified over our common love of heavy music.
The first act to open the night was Khemmis (Phil Pendergast- guitar/vocals, Ben Hutcherson- guitar/vocals, David Small-bass, Zach Coleman-drums). With much intensity, this Denver-based Doom Metal band started playing “Avernal Gate,” welcoming listeners into their world of doom. The quartet continued to hype up the crowd with “Three Gates,” “Sigil,” and “Isolation,” as more people poured into the venue. The band closed their set with “Conversation With Death, an eerie invitation to consider something we will all face, but hope not to anytime soon. This was my first time seeing Khemmis, and I thought they were great live. Five songs were just too short of a setlist. I’m not much of a doom-metal guy, but I found myself wanting more.
Next on the stage was the mighty Whitechapel (Phil Bozeman- vocals, Ben Savage- lead guitar, Alex Wade- rhythm guitar, Gabe Crisp-bass, Zach Householder- guitar, Brandon Zackey- touring drummer). This Knoxville band really pushed their latest album hard. “Kin” was released nearly a year ago. Unfortunately, their set list was cut short due to audio issues, but of the five songs Whitechapel played, four were from “Kin.” They opened with “I Will Find You,” “Anticure,” “Lost Boy,” and their toned-down ballad, “Orphan.” Long-time fans absolutely loved it when they closed with “This Is Exile,” an example of quality deathcore from the band’s 2008 album of the same name. It’s too bad we only got to hear five songs, but it was a great set nonetheless.
The crowd intently watched as Between the Buried and Me (Tommy Rogers- vocals, Paul Waggoner- lead guitar, Dustie Waring- guitar, Dan Briggs- bass, Blake Richardson- drums) took the stage and began their set with their chaotic 2007 hit, “Sun of Nothing.” The progressive band continued with their newer song, “Revolution in Limbo,” and the ferocious “Extremophile Elite.” The bass was pounding as they proceeded into the nearly twelve-minute-long track, “Never Seen/Future Shock.” Because the band’s songs are longer than most, we were only graced with a five-song setlist, but it was killer. The North Carolina prog giants closed their set with their funky “The Future Is Behind Us.”
Trivium might be one of the most underrated metal bands of the last two decades. They have wowed the masses with their extensive touring and popular twitch channels and just released their tenth studio album nearly a year ago to the day. I was really pleased to hear a setlist splattered with songs from the last two albums (this is the Deadmen and Dragons Tour after all)! As the intro song “IX,” played, the four bandmates (Matt Heafy- vocals/guitar, Corey Beaulieu- guitar/backing vocals, Paolo Gregoletto- bass/backing vocals, Alex Bent- drums) took their positions on stage. The crowd erupted as Trivium played “What the Deadmen Say,” their title track single from their ninth album. As the circle pits began to form within the packed crowd, the Orlando-based quartet played the fan favorite, “Into the Mouth of Hell We March.”
Trivium continued their set with their monstrous, “The Sin and the Sentence ” and the thrashy “A Crisis of Revelation,” which was the first time Minnesota fans heard the song performed live. Heafy gave a shoutout to Minnesota as three of their crew are from the Twin Cities. They then played “A Chaos Reigns” and chaos reigned all over the pit. The band even stopped mid-song when an unruly fan was causing problems in the pit. Matt said the guy probably had too much to drink and just needed to be in timeout like his kids. They resumed right where they left off and knocked the rest of the song out of the park. Next was “The Shadow of the Abattoir,” one of my personal favorites from the band’s latest album.
There was a short intermission as the instrumental song, “X” was played and the band re-emerged at the final roar with their massive hit, “In the Court of the Dragon.” Our heads became sore during the fast-paced, “To The Rats” and there wasn’t a quiet voice in the venue when they played “The Heart From Your Hate.” Matt Heafy showed us all that he is a master of his craft as he led the band in playing an eleven-minute-long masterpiece, “Shogun” and older fans were treated to the massively popular song from 2005, “Like Light to the Flies.”
As the night was coming to a close, the lights dimmed and “Capsizing the Sea” played in the background. As soon as the instrumental was over, every Trivium fan went wild as Matt screamed the opening lyrics to “In Waves.” Every album the band puts out is as good, if not better than the one before. Every tour the band plays is as good, if not better than the tour before. Everything they touch is gold and “The Deadmen and Dragons” was no exception. It was a killer evening watching these beasts of metal. I highly recommend catching them on this tour if they are coming to a city near you.