I don’t know what it was about TRIVIUM’s debut Ember To Inferno that I dug back in ’03, but clearly, it didn’t take long for Heafy and the boys to monkeywrench what was already a barely roadworthy machine, becoming a pastiche of even themselves only two years later, and firing off an album that would’ve killed a less merch-driven band only one year after that with The Crusade.

It’s nearly 15 years later now, and the musical climate has changed. TRIVIUM hasn’t, though, and album #9 flails and falters from the start, twee guitar squeal with all the rage of a mewling kitten kicking off ‘What The Dead Men Say’, the equivalent of formula to metal babies craving true milk. And that’s what we have here by the bucketful, even at best, ‘Catastrophist’ a slapped-together smattering of random riffing built around a chorus guaranteed to get the SJWs all fired up and ready to protest something. ‘Amongst The Shadows And The Stones’ is chock full of baggy shorts, jumpdafucup moments, and I’m not sure exactly what that little jig is at 3:15-3:29 but these feet aren’t dancing to it.

It really, honestly doesn’t get any better, ‘The Defiant’ and ‘Sickness Unto You’ suffering from the same fate as TRIVIUM over the whole of its career, being a decided lack of songcraft. An album, maybe two, I’ll give almost anyone, but after over 20 years at it, those who’d been vainly hoping for them to have that “Eureka!” moment should lay their dreams to rest. I’m surprised a money-driven, largely artistically bereft label such as Roadrunner’s kept this horse in the stable this long.

‘Bending The Arc To Fear’ blends at least a half-dozen somewhat passable ideas for a band of this ilk into nothing short of a fecal-fetishist orgy of GG Allin proportions, while ‘The Ones We Leave Behind’ proves prophetic in a way I hadn’t expected TRIVIUM to ever, inspiring me to make a decision I probably should’ve long, long ago.

While I’ll never listen to Ember To Inferno again, the disc is going to a better place. Remind me sometime to tell you about my coaster collection.
Review By: Lord Randall

What The Dead Men Say
Roadrunner Records
0 / 6