Vengeance Falls gets off to a rousing start with “Brave The Storm.” Thrashy riffs and thick grooves envelop gigantic hooks and a memorable chorus. Matt Heafy also injects a few growling vocals into the mix, but they are the exception on the album, appearing in small doses here and on other songs like the title track and “Through Blood and Dirt and Bone."
The band’s sound has shifted throughout their career. This time around you can hear thrash and ‘80s metal influences, but they blend those influences with their own style to create a modern sound. The songs on Vengeance Falls are focused, and they approached riff writing differently as well. Instead of repeating the same riff several times, they develop and shift them, making the songs more dynamic.
Where Draiman’s influence is heard the most is on Heafy’s vocals. The Hetfield-esque style of previous albums is there, but you can also hear phrasing and delivery that’s definitely taken from Draiman’s playbook. Heafy gives a varied performance, from emotional crooning to aggressive singing to harsh barks, and does them all very well.
The guitar work on the album is top-notch as well, with Heafy and Corey Beaulieu bringing great riffs. There are also some ripping solos, like on “No Way To Heal.” There’s plenty of low-end in the mix, giving bassist Paolo Gregoletto and drummer Nick Augusto much deserved exposure.
Vengeance Falls is a balanced album, with Trivium bringing in a variety of styles and influences. The first minute or so of “At The End Of This War” is a ballad before kicking into full metal mode. The last two songs on the album are also the longest, around six minutes long, closing with “Wake (The End Is Nigh),” which builds from a subdued beginning to a full force crusher.
More than most bands, there’s the perception that Trivium seem to have to silence the doubters with each new album. With Vengeance Falls they leave no doubt that they are one of the elite modern metal bands.
(released October 15, 2013 on Roadrunner Records)