Saturday night was a great night in Nottingham for the local metalheads – Trivium were back and headlining the stage at Rock City. Supported by the recently popular Shvpes and Sikth, who were unfortunately missing a guitarist, it was with mixed feelings the crowd entered the venue.
Shvpes had a very energetic front man, who engaged the crowd extremely well and got them pumped. Their 7 song set was short, but the crowd were singing along by the time they played Skin & Bones. The vocalist was constantly calling for a circle pit, and repeatedly spoke to the crowd and tried to get them as hyped as he could for the following acts.
Up next were Sikth, and although they were down a guitarist, it didn’t stop them from giving the performance 110%. The prog metallers have two lead vocalists, and although it seemed like this might be overwhelming, they both incorporate different styles into their performances and blend them together really well. The crowd gave Sikth positive reactions, singing along and giving them a circle pit. Shoeless guitarist Dan managed to fill the empty guitar space with some insane prog metal riffs that the crowd went crazy for.
Finally, out came Trivium. The crowd knew what was coming with a stage set up of a huge stone throne for drums. The trademark Trivium skulls were also present. The entire performance was planned, but it felt like the group were just going through the motions, all the way from Rain to Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr. However, that didn’t stop the crowd from getting into the performance and vocalist Matt Heafy frequently asked the crowd for help on the vocals.
Just before their upcoming EU/UK tour with the giants in Trivium, UK technical metallers SikTh have released a new song that they will no doubt be smashing academy shows live. You can check out ‘No Wishbones‘
Hailing from Athens, Greece are alternative metal band Ghost Season looking to make a strong mark and showcase their influences. Their upcoming debut album ‘Like Stars In A Neon Sky’ is set for release on January 27th and with a world of oppurtunity, they’re ready to dive in and sink their teeth into the world of music.
The pounding heartbeat follow by what sound like guitar harmonics lead the intro of this track and the effects and mixed production come into play to show of a different style to what you might have already heard of the genre, but unfortunately it doesn’t have that much gripping for an opening track like it feels it should. Then it kicks into ‘Sons Of Yesterday’ and the pace picks up a bit more and brings a little bit more excitement to the record. The double bass pedal for the drums helps pound the riff that much more into your skull and has that flavour of old school Trivium. The vocal harmonies work really well and even though the vocals sometimes feel a bit off with the actual tone of the track, the band soldier on and make everything still work in their favour. The riffs keep on getting pounded through by the guitars whilst the bass provides the undertone in headbanger ‘Fade Away’, picking this album up a bit more and gives you that anthem feel in its choruses with the subtle screams hidden in the background.
The band knows what works for them and that is providing something that instrumentally is very pleasing to the ears. Near enough all of the tracks have that power to get you headbanging whether it be with the more old school heavy metal feeling of riffs with songs such as ‘War Of Voices’ to the fresher new era style with that nostalgic twinge that comes with songs like ‘The Mirror’ that give you a different perspective of what the band can achieve. The softer and acoustic driven sections are prominent in quite a few tracks. Where you might find them on just one or two, Ghost Season definitely use the numbers game to their advantage and it makes the album flow that much more nicer. Whether it has a southern twinge like ‘The Vampire’ or not, its a experiment that has pretty much succeeded for the group. The vocals are what are give this album the dirt mark on what is otherwise a good record. Whilst the harmonies flow really nicely and the track previously mentioned bring some gravitas to it, most of the time it feels out of place and could turn away first time listeners.
From start to finish, you will find an enjoyable piece of music from a country you probably wouldn’t expect this from. Even though there might be a few things that might turn you away at first glance, that doesn’t stop the band pushing and creating something that is a really nice way to start of their debut album.
Just over a year after the release of their last album, Silence In The Snow, Trivium are returning with their latest album Ember To Inferno: Ab Initio. Trivium’s debut album, released in 2003, was also called Ember To Inferno, however the line up and labels have changed over the years, and now their latest piece, translated from Latin as “from the beginning”, is a re-released version of their no longer available debut album.
“The purpose of this release is to show the very early beginnings of Trivium–perhaps an era unbeknownst to most listeners of the band. To look back at Ember as the starting point of Trivium becoming recognized worldwide is a staggering thought for me, considering I was 16/17 years old during the writing and recording of the record…As a kid, I always said the ‘goal’ was to be in a massive metal band. I don’t think I actually knew what it would mean to have fans in different parts of the world, and I still can’t believe people care so much that they actually want to hear the music that pre-dates our Roadrunner-years. To this day, I am still completely blown away that people are singing words to songs I wrote when I was 16 years old. It’s an amazing feeling.” – Vocalist Matt Heafy.
Ember To Inferno: Ab Initio begins with a 35 second instrumental performed on strings with added effects called Inception: The Bleeding Skies. This track helps to prepare the listener’s mind to be blown. Immediately leading into the next track, Pillars Of Serpents, takes the listener right back to Trivium’s roots. However Pillar Of Serpents seems to jump between sections and it is clear that Trivium were not quite as refined and well honed as they are now.
If I Could Collapse The Masses is one of the “lighter” tracks on the album, with singing and melodic guitars in the chorus, but back to chugging and double kick drums for the verses. It is a good example of Trivium’s diversity, even in their early days. However in parts of the track it feels like the drums and guitars are working against each other and are not playing in time.
Once again Trivium launch immediately into the second half of Ember To Inferno much like the first half. To Burn The Eye, following the instrumental Ashes, like Pillars Of Serpents, begins with heavy drums. However To Burn The Eye has a much more memorable riff, and switches between sections of the song more fluently. My Hatred also follows in this vein.
Towards the end of Ember To Inferno, the tracks get longer. To Burn The Eye is around 7 minutes long, and the song that immediately follows it, Falling To Grey, is just over 5 and a half minutes long. Although typical of the melodic metal genre, the listener may feel tired and burned out by the same artist by this point. Many of the tracks also start to sound the same at this point. Unless going for a massive listening session, it would be wise to split the album into chunks.
The penultimate track, When All Light Dies, blends really nicely into the final track, A View Of Burning Empires, which is the final instrumental of Ember To Inferno. A View Of Burning Empires ties the album together really well.
After Ember To Inferno finishes, the bonus tracks from Trivium’s Red, Blue and Yellow demos begin, starting with Ruber (The Red Demo). Pain is the first track to Ruber, and the entirety of the first two minutes are purely guitar solo. Then the vocals kick in, and all of a sudden Trivium transform from this well polished and rehearsed artist to a band just starting out in a garage of a house in the suburbs somewhere. However, the different sections flow well from one to another and it’s clear that Trivium have spent a lot of time over their career rehearsing to get everything just right.
Immediately following Pain is Thrust. Another longer track, it becomes clear why Ruber only contains three songs. However, Thrust is a track that could easily be performed live and so the listener pictures that.
The final track to Ruber is Lake Of Fire, which begins with slow melodies that sound like Metallica’s Unforgiven III. However the riff soon kicks in, and another enjoyable tune is available.
Heafy’s vocals on Ruber are more raw than Ember To Inferno, and it is clear that over the years his voice has adapted to heated vocals and have improved over time.
The second demo, Caeruleus (The Blue Demo) contains some of the same tracks as Ember To Inferno. Skipping past the tracks that are the same, the listener comes to The Storm, another 6 minute track. This is much the same as the tracks on Ruber, heavy drums and guitar solos and no real development of Trivium as an artist, although the listener has now built a clear picture of the group’s musical history.
Sworn sounds more like it belongs on Ember To Inferno. At 4 and a half minutes, it is shorter than quite a few of the tracks on the original album. It would be interesting to find out why particular tracks were chosen to make up Ember To Inferno, as Sworn is one of the catchier tunes.
Demon, the final track of Caeruleus, is another short track at 3 and a half minutes, yet the first minute is almost entirely instrumental. Demon sounds more like the heavier tracks that Trivium are known for.
The final demo, Flavus (The Yellow Demo), contains the final three tracks that make up the deluxe edition of Ember To Inferno. Here we can start to see how Trivium developed over their formative years, as the first track, Like Light To The Flies, sounds much like the first half of Ember To Inferno, with heavier verses and lighter choruses. This is also the first demo track in which Heafy sings instead of just screaming.
In contrast, Blinding Tears Will Break The Skies, is a typical heavy Trivium track, at least until the chorus. It’s a track that fans will recognise as the Trivium they know and love.
The Deceived is the final track on Flavus and Ember To Inferno: Ab Initio, and is the heaviest track on Flavus. In fact, it would not be out of place on Ruber, however it has that more developed and polished Trivium sound.
Overall rating: 7/10
Ember To Inferno: 6.5/10
Trivium are performing at the following UK venues next year:
Sat 11th Feb – DUBLIN Academy
Sun 12th Feb – BELFAST Limelight
Tue 14th Feb – BIRMINGHAM Institute
Wed 15th Feb – MANCHESTER Academy
Thu 16th Feb – GLASGOW Barrowlands
Fri 17th Feb – LONDON Roundhouse
Sat 18th Feb – NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Heart Avail are a metal band based in Spokane, Washington, USA. The group consists of four members, fronted by vocalist Aleisha Simpson. Their self titled and debut EP is due for release on 9th December via Milagro Records.
Heart Avail opens with a 6 minute symphonic melodic track that is reminiscent of Within Temptation, called Broken Fairytale. The tracks are mixed and mastered perfectly, each musician knows their place within the balance of the group and has a chance to demonstrate their talents. 6 minutes is perhaps a little bit long for an opening track, however it’s a good track. The second track, Vacillation, is immediately different from the symphonic and melodic Broken Fairytale. It launches with a guitar riff that sounds like it is influenced by the likes of Trivium, however the similarities end when the vocals enter the mix.
Simpson’s vocals are not quite as powerful as Amy Lee from Evanescence, however she distinctively holds her own over the music behind her. She sounds like a versatile musician who could easily perform any genre of music. This is particularly demonstrated in the third track of the EP, Always. Each track on Heart Avail sounds different and explores the diversity of the metal genre. The first half a minute of No Remorse particularly demonstrates this, however going into the first chorus it sounds like the other tracks. After the first chorus and into the second verse there is a short instrumental section where the guitarist, Greg Hanson, gets to show off his abilities. The final track of the EP, Pink Lace, is also the lead single. It was premiered on PureGrainAudio and is now available on YouTube.
Pink Lace is altogether a more energetic song than the rest of the EP, and the best song for showcasing individual talents of the members of Heart Avail. There are clear different sections of the song, and it’s not only a great song to end an EP on, it’s probably the best song on the EP and the clear choice for the lead single. The song just floats out at the end, leaving the listener wanting more. Altogether Heart Avail is an EP about the pain that comes from the loss of loved ones, which most listeners can probably relate to. It is not only therapeutic for the listeners that are dealing with similar experiences, it’s a great EP to listen to in general, and Heart Avail are definitely a group to look out for.
For fans of; Trivium, In Flames, Children Of Bodom and Kalmah Melodic Death Metal band Chariots Of The Gods have unleashed their new video for Resurrection, in support of their new album Ages Unsung released this past September (as reviewed by Kris Pugh on Musicology).
Resurrection is just one of 10 tracks taken from this impressive album recorded at The Grid with legendary producer Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Agonist, Beyond Creation, Neuraxis). The album also features a guest solo from Pascal Jobin (The Agonist) on the track Into The Oblivion. Chariots Of The God’s raised the money to create the album from a kickstarter campaign where the group surpassed their goal of $3,000. The album marks the return of the band following a small hiatus and lineup change following their 2013 debut Tides Of War produced by Glen Robinson (Queensrhyce, GWAR, Annihilator).
The band commented on the track Resolution as part of the press release:
“For the third lyric video, we thought “Resurrection” could be a great addition to our series of singles. The song talks about the rising of beasts ready to set the world ablaze. With the US elections having passed, we felt the themes can somewhat be connected. We went into new territories with this one, but we’re really proud of the turnout. We hope you will enjoy it!”
The video can be watched below:
The album is also available to be listened to in full from the band’s YouTube channel available now
Chariots Of Fire will be on tour in Canada including supporting Sonata Arctica in their hometown of Ottawa. The group will be taking Pronostic as their support band on this tour. No UK dates have so far been confirmed.
It’s time for some tour support news! Two UK acts will be touring with the mighty Trivium this coming March and those names are Sikth and Shvpes. Showing off some of what the best of UK has to offer, its an exciting time for both bands careers. Check out the main support band Sikth below as well as tour dates too.
11/02/2017 – Ireland – Dublin / Academy
12/02/2017- N. Ireland – Belfast / Limelight
14/02/2017 – UK – Birmingham / Institute
15/02/2017 – UK – Manchester / Academy
16/02/2017 – UK – Glasgow / Barrowlands
17/02/2017 – UK – London / Roundhouse
18/02/2017 – UK – Nottingham /Rock City
20/02/2017 – LUX – Luxembourg / Den Atlier
21/02/2017 – Holland – Amsterdam / Melkweg
22/02/2017 – Germany – Berlin / Huxleys
24/02/2017 – Norway – Oslo / Rockefella
25/02/2017 – Sweden – Stockholm / Klubben
27/02/2017 – Finland – Helsinki / The Circus
01/03/2017 – Sweden – Gothenburg / Pustervik
02/03/2017 – Sweden – Malmo / Kb
03/03/2017 – Denmark – Copenhagen / Vega Main Hall
04/03/2017 – Denmark – Arhus / Train
06/03/2017 – Germany – Hannover / Capitol
07/03/2017 – Germany – Leipzig / Taubchenthal
08/03/2017 – Austria – Vienna / Arena
10/03/2017 – Switzerland – Pratteln / Z7
11/03/2017 – Germany – Munich / Theaterfabrik
12/03/2017 – Germany – Stuttgart / Longhorn
13/03/2017 – Italy – Milan / Magazzini Generali
15/03/2017 – Switzerland – Lausanne / Les Docks
16/03/2017 – France – Marseille / Espace Julien
17/03/2017 – Spain – Barcelona / Apollo
18/03/2017 – Spain – Madrid / Sala But
19/03/2017 – Spain – Antiago De Compostela/ Capitol
21/03/2017 – France – Cognac / West Rock
22/03/2017 – France – Paris / Caberet -Sauvage
24/03/2017 – Germany – Koln / Live Music Hall
25/03/2017 – Belgium – Antwerp / Trix
Trivium are going to be re-releasing their first album that started their career, ‘Ember To Inferno‘, on both CD and Vinyl. As well as this, they will be adding a deluxe edition titled ‘Ab Initio‘ which features only bonus tracks. This will both be on CD/Vinyl. You can purchase your copies HERE and listen to a song from the album below!
It’s been a while since Upon A Burning Body have released an album, but in two weeks everyone will receive their blessings with the upcoming album ‘Straight From The Barrio‘ thanks to Sumerian Records. With that in mind, they have dropped a new song titled ‘Already Broken‘ which you can listen to below and wrap your head around!
They will be touring across America with Asking Alexandria, Born of Osiris and more and you can see the dates below!