In historical measures Trivium means an introductory course at a medieval university involving the study of grammar, rhetoric and logic. In today’s age Trivium is an American heavy metal band that formed in 1999 and since then the band has released nine studio albums with over twenty singles.
What the Dead Men Say is their ninth studio album and its energy, diversity and songwriting is another path in their excellent history. Traditionally the bands material has been written by vocalist and guitarist, Matt Heafy, but for this album the majority was written by bassist, Paolo Gregoletto. In February 2020 the band slowly started to leak hints about the new album and now the album has been delivered for all to hear.
Ten well-crafted songs starting with “IX” which is an introduction to the album and dictates what’s to follow. The title means nine which is apt for obvious reasons. Beautiful solo guitar starts before more guitars kick in, followed by the drums to unleash that heavy Trivium sound. This is a really fantastic way to start the album.
The title song “What the Dead Men Say” is a title from a Philip K.Dick short story. It really is a great song and I would recommend it to those who aren’t familiar with their sound. It’s a worthy introduction. “Catastrophist” definitely has an epic feel about it. The edgy singing with Alex Bent on drums licking the beats and some seriously sick guitar playing, you know you’ll listen to this many more times and then be busting to hear it played live. This is a song which makes you feel alive in these times of isolation and monotony.
“Sickness Unto You” features more epic guitar and drum and I can tell the band needed to let loose for this song. “Scattering the Ashes” is a favourite of mine. The song is close to guitarist and backing vocalist, Corey Beaulieu, who lost his grandfather in 2019 and the family scattered his ashes into the ocean. This song came from that part of real-life but was turned into another story, a melodic yet dark tune.
Hopefully once covid19 times are behind us the band can tour again but for the moment sit back and take in the music that is Trivium. If you’ve never listened to them before, take a chance, but if they’re a band on your list you’ll love their hardcore, melodic, death and black metal, all rolled into one album here. There are new and old sounds on this album and boys are clearly at ease with their music doing what they do best.
FOUR STARS OUT OF FIVE
What the Dead Men Say is out now through Roadrunner Records