TRIVIUM – “In Waves” 10th Anniversary Livestream Event (December 11th, 2021)

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There are times when a trip down memory lane can be just as relevant to the present as a brand new endeavor, but the occasion where both occur in the same evening is a fairly rare occurrence. This would prove the general tone and tenor of two successive performances on December 11th via livestream from The Hangar in Orlando, Florida, marking the tenth anniversary of the headlining act of the two Trivium’s widely heralded fifth studio album “In Waves.” The album itself being an expression of revisiting the past in order to forge a path into the further as said metalcore icons had opted to move away from their more novel hybrid thrash metal and progressive-tinged, technical extravaganza approach embodied in 2006’s “The Crusade” and 2008’s “Shogun” in favor of a more orthodox metal template with a few novel twists, and 10 years to the day it proves a formidable and impactful undertaking within a live context when realized in its entirety.

Prior to the main event, a brief yet brutal overture would be delivered by Jersey deathcore juggernaut Fit For An Autopsy, running just shy of 20 minutes as a 21st minute might have proved too much for the average mortal to handle. The rustic setting of a small studio rehearsal space would prove a fitting venue, as the four songs that would commence were an exercise in no nonsense aggression and zero moments of extraneous gimmickry. Two selections off their 2019 opus “The Sea Of Tragic Beasts” in the djenting thud turned busy thrasher of a title song and the politically-charged auditory kill session “Warfare” were the clear standouts, as the sheer force and multifaceted character of Joe Badolato’s vocal performance registered as barely human, and the combined guitar assault of Pat Sheridan and Tim Howley proved intricate and technically charged enough to dispel the rumor in some circles that deathcore has more tattoos than it does riffs. All that being said, the concise presentation allowed for the short time slot to be used to its fullest potential, and the performance of a brand new song off their upcoming album “Far From Heaven” and an older offering from 2017 “Black Mammoth” were no slouches either.

True to the form presented by the opening showcase, Trivium’s set would have a similarly humble demeanor, albeit on a larger stage and with some occasional voiceover segments to give it that documentary-like character that has often adorned streaming events over the past couple years. The blend of impact-based metalcore aggression with frequent breaks into more subdued and atmospheric territory that typified the album allowed for the retrospective accounts given by Matt Heafy and the others to seamlessly blend into the 53 minute performance, elucidating the rationale behind the band’s change in stylistic direction on the album following a more expansive approach on previous studio ventures and how this move back to a rawer and more stripped down approach would ultimately expand their worldwide fan base. If nothing else, it was an event that proved as informative as it was musically engaging.

Perhaps the most unique feature of this album’s arrangement is that the multiple vocalist approach it entails saw Trivium functioning more as a foursome of equally active parts rather than a four-piece band with Matt Heafy as the lone helmsman. When combined with the compact yet still intricate songwriting, the performance revealed a fold of perfectionists who knew the songs forwards and backwards, betraying not even a subtle hint of a sour note even during the more elaborate guitar solo sections. It didn’t really matter how abrupt the switches from a slow-thudding breakdown segment to a hyper-thrashing burst would be, drummer Alex Bent would display the precision of a machine and the feel of a true artist, though one could hardly expect less from one who has played for the likes of Brain Drill, Battlecross, and Decrepit Birth. Though no song would land with a dud, longer and more hook-focused offerings such as the title song, “Watch The World Burn” – played live for the first time since 2016 – “Forsake No The Dream,” and “Chaos Reign” – returning for the first time to a live setting since 2012 – would prove a cut above the rest.

For a performance that would be among the final words of the metal scene in 2021, the contrasting expressions presented by Trivium’s song-oriented yet epic in scope endeavor and the more menacing, technically elaborate yet laconic presentation by Fit For An Autopsy speak more to the musical landscape of the 2010s. As de facto members of what many have dubbed the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, each recalls the state in which two related yet ultimately distinct styles would blossom into full maturity after a rather chaotic birth and rise to prominence in the 2000s. It’s as much a tale about success in the face of adversity as anything else, as both the modern metal and deathcore scenes would experience a notable decline in popularity during the mid-point of the previous decade, which these two folds weathered with only a few bumps in the road. Whether one chalks it up to the modern American metal scene coming full circle or just two tenacious bands sticking to what they do best, the result was a stellar one that is only the first installment of an ongoing series, leaving the question of what upcoming part two could hope to top this.

The video on demand of this event is now available until Friday, Dec.17th. Go to THIS LOCATION to get your tickets!

TRIVIUM Setlist:

Capsizing the Sea (Intro) / In Waves / Inception of the End / Dusk Dismantled / Watch the World Burn / Black (First time live since 2016) / A Skyline’s Severance / Built to Fall / Caustic Are the Ties That Bind / Forsake Not the Dream / Chaos Reigns (First time live since 2012) / Of All These Yesterdays (First time live since 2014) / Leaving This World Behind (Outro)

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