Trivium with Sabaton, Huntress
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Trivium with Sabaton, Huntress
Inspiration completes a circle throughout time. When the new generation understands the traditions of the forefathers, it can properly ascend. However, this ritual doesn’t happen overnight. Time, patience, and endless work remain prerequisites—especially in music. Trivium—Matt Heafy [vocals, guitar], Corey Beaulieu [guitar] and Paolo Gregoletto [bass]—actually began building the blueprint for their seventh full-length album, Silence in the Snow [Roadrunner Records], back in 2007. They spent the next eight years diligently progressing and evolving, eventually becoming equipped with the wisdom to fully architect this body of work in 2015.
The genesis of the record’s title track dates back to a 2007 run supporting Heaven and Hell in Japan, marking the first step of this journey. “When I watched them live, it was something that really spoke to me, especially the song ‘Heaven and Hell’,” recalls Matt. “I’d never heard metal summarized so well like that. Afterwards, I came up with ‘Silence in the Snow.’ We loved the song, but it just didn’t fit with the music we were making at the time. The reason was, perhaps, we weren’t ready for it. We foreshadowed our destiny back then, and we’ve finally grown into the song. It required massive musical growth, and we’re ready now.”
“Every time we would do a record, someone would bring up ‘Silence in the Snow,” continues Paolo. “It was in the back of our minds, but it wasn’t the right time. It came out of that moment, seeing a classic band feel so modern and relevant with real passion. It fit with where we wanted to go today. We revisited the song, and it was the moment we got the clear cut vision for this album. It corralled all of our ideas together and sent us on the path. We wanted to hone in on making big metal anthems. Each track is distinct and matters with real dynamics. It’s everything we wanted to do.”
In order to achieve this goal, Trivium once again challenged themselves. They researched the bands who inspired their influences—Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth and Slayer —and immersed themselves in the work of Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, and Rainbow.
“We definitely looked back to a lot of classic records and used them for inspiration,” adds Paolo. “We knew we had to step up our game in the songwriting. We didn’t want to simply write music, but put together a cohesive collection from start-to-finish. That’s the real magic of those albums.”
Simultaneously, after an introduction by M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold, Matt began taking vocal lessons regularly with renowned coach Ron Anderson. The frontman expanded his already rigorous schedule with intense Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training as well as guitar lessons with everything fueling this creative evolution. In order to capture the desired sound, they enlisted Michael “Elvis” Baskette [Slash, Alter Bridge] for production and Mat Madiro for drums and hit the studio in early 2015.
“Being a metal head with a great sense of songwriting and production, Elvis was the perfect fit,” says Matt. “We’ve always had a balance of melody and technicality. He understood that and fostered its growth.”
Sonically, the band also broke the mold. Rather, than mixing extremely loud, they nodded to the sonic quality of records such as Back In Black where the mix is quieter. When you turn it up, it doesn’t become distorted. Josh Wilbur [Lamb of God, Gojira] got behind the board and helped them realize this.
“We wanted to make sure it wasn’t too loud and crushed like many modern records are,” Paolo goes on. “It had to be crystal clear and preserve the layers. That was the big thing we picked up from those classics. They sound so pristine. Making it so bold and big, the songs come across how they’re meant to, and you want to turn it up.”
Following the cinematic, orchestral opener “Snøfall” recorded by legendary Emperor visionary Ishahn, “Silence in the Snow” introduces the album with succinct searing guitar gallop and a sweeping refrain that’s equally engaging and entrancing.
“It’s a rally for positivity,” exclaims Matt. “It’s a battle cry. The lyrics didn’t change much since 2007, and this kicked everything off.”
At the same time, the first single “Until The World Goes Cold” begins with an ominous intro before adopting a hammering groove that subsides during the arena-size chorus.
“It’s about the sacrifice we make,” admits Matt. “Being in a band isn’t just about working at your craft and attempting to be the best you can be musically. At times, you have to be away from your loved ones, comforts, and the things that essentially make you who you are. When you’re striving for that dream, you can forget what you’re searching for and start to give up. You have to realign and continue fighting for what you love and believe in.”
“We wanted a song that was heavy at a slower pace,” says Paolo. “It sounds even bigger that way. It has a really strong theme.”
Meanwhile, “Pull Me From The Void” delivers a dose of vibrant vitriol through a twisting lead and expansive chant. “You should reach for impossible dreams and put everything into something you love,” Matt exclaims. “If you don’t, what’s the point? I got inspired to do this at 12-years-old when I saw Metallica’s Live Shit: Binge & Purge. I wanted to reach that level, and I’m not shying away from being honest about that.”
“Blind Leading The Blind” pairs a lyrical solo with a slamming crescendo before turning on the harmonious declaration, “Save yourself.”
“Sometimes, it seems like we keep perpetuating the ugliness that we have towards one another,” he says. “I’m always hoping for a positive outcome. I’m using the song as a call-to-action in order for people to question the world around them, question the way things are, question who they treat others, and not just be content to live in the norm and do as they’re told or expected. There are better ways to live life.”
Trivium laid the foundation to reach this point with 2005’s Ascendancy. Eventually, that seminal album would move over 500,000 copies worldwide. Throughout The Crusade  and Shogun , they would play alongside everybody from Black Sabbath to Iron Maiden and captivate crowds at Download Festival, OZZfest, and more. 2011’s In Waves marked their highest chart entry on the Billboard Top 200, landing at #13, hitting #1 on Hard Rock chart, and selling 22,000 units first-week. Vengeance Falls would also go Top 15 in 2013 as the group went on to play the main stage at 2014’s Mayhem Festival alongside Avenged Sevenfold and Korn. 2015 sees them co-headline with Tremonti, headline Bloodstock in Europe, and perform on the main stage at KNOTFEST.
In the end, Trivium arrive with an album that has a power to carry on that cycle of inspiration.
“Our band is about progression,” concludes Paolo. “It’s never been about a checklist to make a quintessential Trivium record. We’ve been talking about making this album for a while. It will lead us on to other things.”
“On a surface level, I hope fans can have a good time listening to this,” Matt leaves off. “For those who dig deeper, I hope they find solace in the music and they can be inspired to do something from the lyric. I said everything I wanted to say here. It’s all on the album.” — Rick Florino, July 2015