Operation “essay procrastination” is a-go, and with it comes a post about music. I’ve realised that since starting Mouths For War, I’ve reviewed loads of music, but I haven’t once discussed the artists behind the work OR rated integral and influential songs from their back catalogues…UNTIL NOW (DUN DUN DAHHHHHH!!!) *pause for effect*
Today’s artist of choice: Trivium. Trivium, have been a favourite of mine since my early teens and are partially responsible for getting me into heavier music. Albums like “Ember to Inferno” (2003) and the iconic “Ascendancy” (2005) sped these guys right up the metal ladder to become a household metal name at a really young age. In total Trivium have released 6 studio albums, as well as writing songs for various compilation records, Roadrunner United and the God of War video game series. So I had a think, then I had an even longer think, and came up with a list of the 10 most underrated Trivium songs. Now, these are my thoughts, and nobody else’s, so if you have songs that you think should’ve made a list, or you just feel like trolling, leave a comment below! Let’s do this
#10 – This World Can’t Tear Us Apart (The Crusade, 2006)
Funnily enough, this is my LEAST favourite Trivium album (mainly due to the change in sonic direction). However, in my older age, I recognise it as a record that had to be made, and it was still home to few great tunes. “This World Can’t Tear Us Apart” is a lot like 2005’s “Dying in Your Arms” (Ascendancy, 2005) except charged with a lot more positivity! An extremely humable melody mixed with two great guitar solos from Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu and two key changes slicker than Street Fighter’s Hakan. This is a hidden gem on a pretty unusual album.
#9 – Pillars Of Serpents (Ember To Inferno, 2003)
As the opening track on their debut record, it’s kind of suprising that this one would make an “underrated list.” BUT, next to juggernaut tracks like “Fugue”, “Requiem”, “My Hatred” and of course the title-track, “Pillars of Serpents” tends to get thrown to the way-side. Again, I’m not sure why, from the machine gun drums, the awesome chug from the verse riff and one hell of a breakdown, this song definitely sets the tone for modern metalcore. It’s also quite surprising to think that Matt Heafy was 17 years old when this record came out, his vocals were absolutely BEAST!
#8 – Shattering the Skies Above (God Of War III: Blood and Metal EP, 2010)
The first track released post-Shogun (2008) and also the first to feature second drummer Nick Augusto. It was here that Trivium started exhibiting a bit more of a death metal influence that were heard on “Kirisute Gomen” and “Insurrection” (Shogun, 2008). Sadistic, 18 year-old me used to listen to this whilst I was slashing my way through Mount Olympus on God of War III, but outside of that it was rarely featured in live sets. A shame as the solo section is top-notch and the drumming is absolutely killer!
#7 – Poison, the Knife or the Noose (Shogun [Special Edition], 2008)
Shogun (2008) was an awesomely heavy and titanic sounding record that struck an awesome balance between the newfound grit of The Crusade (2006) and the crushing riffs on Ascendancy (2005). It’s because of this that Shogun’s B-sides often get overlooked (as far as I know they have never played any of them live) and that’s a crying shame. “Poison, the Knife or the Noose” in a clear example of that, as Heafy’s growls get lower whilst the riffs get thrashier. I can understand why it didn’t make the initial cut of the record, as the song is a lot simpler in structure, whilst the rest of Shogun is more complex than Taylor Swift’s dating history. Still, well worth a listen, especially as it’s one of the last tracks to feature original drummer Travis Smith!
#6 – Departure (Ascendancy, 2005)
Most of the songs from Ascendancy have regularly been featured in Trivium’s live setlists. “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr”, “Like Light to the Flies” and “A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation” are all fan-favourites, whilst “Drowned and Torn Asunder” and “Rain” always manage to tide everybody over. “Departure” is almost a reverse of the rest of the tracks on the album, featuring clean singing in the verse and a harshly growled chorus. I actually heard Trivium play this the very time that I saw them live, and Matt’s reason for this song’s obscurity was “We just couldn’t play this song live.” The word “couldn’t” is key there, as they then proceeded to tear down Brixton Academy! Listen to it and see if you can detect shades of Slipknot and Metallica against the trashy goodness.
#5 – Of All These Yesterdays (In Waves, 2011)
As the follow up to Shogun, In Waves (2011) was (to me anyway) where Trivium found their sound and really came into their own. The tracklist is heavier than The Rock’s daily workout. “Of All These Yesterdays” is the final song on the record and brings a sem-balladic ending to an otherwise crushing record. Featuring a brilliantly subtle build-up and an awesome melodic guitar section towards the end, this song slowly became one of my favourites (especially as it came out right when I left Kuwait, it still holds a special place in my heart..what…no, I’ve just got something in my eye.)
#4 – Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis (Shogun, 2008)
Track 2 on Shogun and boy is it crushing! Next to the album’s title track, this is definitely one of the more progressive songs on the album, with some great lead work, an awesome groove and a coherently levelled solo section. This song also features the closest thing to a bass solo from Paolo Gregoletto that we’ve ever heard on a Trivium record. That, and the artwork for the song looks like this!
#3 – Forsake Not The Dream (In Waves, 2011)
Another awesomely melodic track from In Waves, that has received nowhere near the recognition that it deserves. The verse’s backing melody maintains some great shades of Ascendancy, amplified by the precise drumming and another guitar duel of a solo section! Heafy also hinted that a song on this record was based on the film Inception (2010) and I strongly believe that it’s this one. “I see it fall before my eyes, the dream we built for our own lives!”…hmm…where have I seen that before?
#2 – Of Prometheus and The Crucifix (Shogun, 2008)
Almost entirely clean-sung, without a shade of a growl in site, this song was basically chased out of the baby-cot that encapsulates most whiny metal fans. Bringing a set of melodic chops that many doubted the band capable of, a solo so shreddy that’s almost a breakfast cereal and yet another catchy chorus, I for one would definitely like to see Of Prometheus and The Crucifix make a return form at a live show (although knowing how whingey metal fans are it probably never will)
#1 – Inception Of The End (In Waves, 2011)
As the third promo track before the release of In Waves, this one definitely built the right level of excitement for what promised to be an awesome record. However, once the album was released, it skulked away into the background whilst melodic pace-racers “Built to Fall”, “Watch the World Burn” and “Black” stole the spotlight. “Inception of the End” is awesomely thrashy, has a supremely melodic pre-chorus and some awesome blast-beat drumming throughout the bridge. Whilst this song has had a few live outings, it definitely hasn’t gotten the exposure that it’s needed, and should definitely be brought back to the forefront where it belongs.
Well, that’s my list of Trivium’s 10 most underrated songs. Obviously, this is one man’s opinion. These songs could be somebody’s most overrated for all I know. Hell, if you’re a proper metal hipster, you could think that all of these are mainstream and that only the band’s Blue Demo is worth listening. Then again, if you were a metal hipster you’d probably be listening to “shoegaze” (whatever that is) and not listening to Trivium at all.