I really want to like Trivium more than I do. They seem like good dudes. They are all very talented musicians individually. They seem to be a very popular band. But, it always feels as if there is something missing from the whole that keeps them from becoming one of the truly great modern metal bands in my eyes. I’ve racked my brain trying to figure out exactly what is missing, but I just can’t come up with a way to articulate it. I don’t know. I guess their sound is just missing that special sort of “it factor”. Whatever that is.
At any rate, Trivium has a new album out. On the positive side of things, they decided to go heavy on this one. The last few albums has seen Matt Heafy focus on using his melodic voice rather than the harsher death-influenced growls. It’s not like they have been going for a more pop oriented sound, but they’ve definitely been presenting a more palatable-for-the-masses sort of production of late. It feels like In the Court of the Dragon is an attempt to flash more of a grittier metal sound. I welcome this direction because Heafy has a great growl and the combination of the growls and melodic voices gives Trivium a more complex and interesting sound. On the musical front, this album is pure sensation overload. At time, especially with the drums and the soloing over the vocal parts of songs, things can get a bit overbearing and the density of the notes and beats going on can simply overwhelm the song itself. As stated, these guys are great musicians. But, it feels like they need to reign in the impulse to shred indiscriminately. I think these songs may have been better served by focusing more on the riff backbone of the song and using their flash to add color and texture to the songs rather than have the flash simply take over the entire song. It’s just too much at time to be completely enjoyable.
Hell, maybe I’m just getting old. I used to be impressed as all get when someone would just shred like a maniac. There are some really tasty songs on here and I applaud the heavy turn, but it just feels as though there is just too much going on at times.
3.5 flip flops out of 5