In high spirits and making no attempt to conceal the wide smile that was plastered on my face upon entering the O2 Academy on Tuesday night for an event I’d been looking forward to for a while since booking tickets in January, knowing I was soon to see Matt Heafy and co assuredly lay waste to the ever hospitable and consistently ridiculously expensive for drinks (£5.10 for a pint – what really irks me about this is the seemingly unnecessary extra 10p) O2 Academy in Birmingham.

I had managed to get through what would otherwise have been a pretty unexciting Tuesday – apart from the radio show I co-presented a few hours before the gig that was executed from the POV of super fandom to get myself in the mood, which was easily achieved by playing some of my favourite numbers from the Orlando metallers.

The bill for the gig was completed by sets earlier in the night from Venom Prison, Power Trip and Code Orange that due to timing I regrettably had to miss. I have no doubt they all delivered killer sets and did something in the way of damaging the earholes of all in attendance, as should be expected when speaking of these take-no-prisoners all out heavy-as-shit bands.

Trivium opened their nearly two-hour long set with title track off current album ‘The Sin and The Sentence’, which was greeted with rapturous applause and crowd excitement as the band ripped through viciously, shredding to the delight of all inside. Full of tasty breakdowns, wicked solos and some awesome timing changes the track really showcases what Trivium are capable of when they’re let off the leash, as such this was a fitting song to open with and let the fans know they were in for a good night.

The set-list was buoyed by a journey of Trivium through the years and seemingly in no particular order – although throughout their impressive back catalogue there has naturally and evidently been growth and refinement as skills are honed and experienced gained then utilised, the earlier sounds of the band are still loved by fans and go down just as well as tracks from the latest album. Title track of the group’s first album ‘Ascendancy’ and the reaction it was greeted with illustrated this point well, the reaction also shows how much of the fans are quite devoted and have clearly done their homework digging through the discography as there were not many who didn’t seem familiar with the early cuts.

Popular and aggressive ‘Sin and the Sentence’ track ‘Betrayer’ kept excitement levels running high and proceeded to draw many headbangs from the crowd! Frontman Matt Heafy, who is an ever humble and charismatic on stage presence – manages to produce at one moment melodic and soulful notes with his strong and clear delivery, and broadcasting a vicious, demonic scented scream the next – he is an incredible performer who does not miss a note and gives the fans a great performance is well supported by the matching efforts of Corey Beaulieu, Alex Bent and Paulo Gregoletto respectively. The chemistry that’s present between the four is not hard to observe and it is a nice sight to see talented musicians thriving off the energy they give each other, culminating in a well-oiled machine of heavy ass noise production.

The ‘Ascendancy’ album was visited a couple of times as the night progressed, with one of my most favoured joints and one of the more successful of the album and from the back catalogue of the band ‘Pull Harder on The Strings of Your Martyr’ got a run out for which I was grateful and appreciative, showing so by bellowing along as loud as I could and throwing out a wicked air guitar impression – probably much to the annoyance of the folk next to me (sorry, not sorry!) – the song is infectious with it’s raw energy and aggressive firepower, check it out!

The run through of ‘Sever The Hand’ was a source of great happiness for most, myself definitely included; this was one of the tracks I had gained significant attachment for from ‘The Sin and The Sentence’, this selection made me think of how considering the extensive discography of the band, there were probably a good number of tracks that didn’t make the set-list spawning the opposite reaction from fans than I am discussing here, however this is simply a testament to the consistency of Trivium‘s efforts and the high standard that is maintained whenever they enter the studio. Also I feel that most in attendance would have been more than satisfied with the set-list we were treated to and recognise it just wouldn’t be realistic for some of the songs they felt injustice by not hearing being selected.

The finale was drawn to in the best possible way; seeing as it hadn’t made an appearance prior during the set (and somewhat to the fact I managed to glimpse the set-list from the previous night’s gig) I knew what was coming – one of the band’s most anthemic, impressively structured and tour-de-force moments, the minutes of organised chaos masterpiece that never fails to animate and seek a response – the track truly makes you feel you are being swept up in a sea of unrelenting waves, aptly enough: ‘In Waves’. Preceded by the light instrumental ‘Capsizing the Sea’ that provides a massive and fitting introduction leading straight into ‘In Waves’, a few moments of anticipation to brace yourself for the ear piercing goodness concocted within those few glorious minutes, with everyone in attendance screaming along like they truly mean every word this was a great moment and as if it was in doubt totally solidified my love and appreciation for one of the best current metal bands going.


Trivium’s latest album ‘The Sin and The Sentence is available everywhere now, go give it a listen!

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