Trivium is an American heavy metal band from Orlando, Florida, formed in 2000. After getting signed to Roadrunner Records in 2004, the band has released six studio albums and eighteen singles. Their most recent album, Vengeance Falls, was released on October 9, 2013. The band has sold over one million albums worldwide.
Formation and debut album (2000–2004)
The band formed in 2000. At his Lake Brantley High School talent show, Matt Heafy performed a cover version of "No Leaf Clover" by Metallica. Singer Brad Lewter noticed Heafy and asked him to try out for his band. The pair went over to drummer Travis Smith's house where they played a rendition of Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls". Impressed with Heafy's performance, they accepted him into the band known as "Trivium", which is a Latin three-way intersection they used to explain their music as combining metalcore, melodic death metal and thrash metal. After several shows at bars and local clubs, Lewter quit the band and Heafy took over his position as vocalist.
In early 2003, Trivium went into the recording studio to record its first high-quality demo disc. A copy of the demo was heard by German label Lifeforce which signed Trivium, and his band entered a studio to record its debut album, Ember to Inferno. Corey Beaulieu joined after the recording of the album. In 2004, Paolo Gregoletto joined as the band's bassist, replacing Brent Young, before a tour with Machine Head. The album Ember to Inferno managed to garner the interest of Roadrunner Records representatives, who later signed Trivium to the label. The band then began writing songs for their major label debut.
In 2004, Trivium recorded its second album, Ascendancy, in Audiohammer Studios and Morrisound Recording in Florida. Produced by Heafy and Jason Suecof, the album was released in March 2005. The album debuted at No. 151 on the Billboard 200 and at No. 4 on the Top Heatseekers chart. Allmusic reviewer Johnny Loftus stated on Ascendancy, Trivium are a "ridiculously tight quartet, unleashing thrilling dual guitar passages and pummeling kick drum gallops as surely as they do melodic breaks and vicious throat screams." and Rod Smith of Decibel magazine praised "Smith’s impeccably articulated beats, bassist Paolo Gregoletto’s contained thunder, and, especially, Heafy and guitarist Corey Beaulieu’s liquid twin leads." The album was also recognized as the "Album of the Year" by Kerrang! magazine. Later in 2007 the band received their first Gold Record in the UK for more than 100,000 Sales.
In 2005, Trivium played the first Saturday set on the main stage at Download Festival in Castle Donington, England, credited by Matt Heafy as the gig that really launched Trivium on the world stage. Singles and music videos were released for "Like Light to the Flies", "Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr", "A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation", and "Dying in Your Arms". The videos for these songs gained rotation on MTV2's Headbangers Ball and "Pull Harder on The Strings of Your Martyr" has become one of the band's most well known songs and is the song that they usually close their sets with. In support of the album, Trivium played on numerous tours with well-known artists. The band opened for Killswitch Engage, Iced Earth, Fear Factory, and Machine Head, who were one of Heafy's largest influences. Trivium played at Road Rage 2005, Ozzfest, and made an appearance at the Download Festival. Ascendancy was re-released in 2006 with four bonus tracks and a DVD containing all of the band's music videos and live footage.
The Crusade (2006–2007)
In April 2006, after a headlining tour with Mendeed and God Forbid as openers, Trivium entered the studio with Suecof and Heafy producing again. The band played the Download Festival again, this time on the main stage with Korn and Metallica. Trivium released The Crusade in October 2006. Debuting at number 25 on the Billboard 200, the album sold over 32,000 copies in its first week of sales. Heafy's vocals had changed from the metalcore scream of the previous albums to actual singing. This new singing style, along with the band's thrash metal music, were criticised as sounding too much like Metallica, who was a major influence on the band. Heafy commented on the change:
The band supported the album by touring with Iron Maiden and Metallica, appearing on the Black Crusade tour with Machine Head, Arch Enemy, DragonForce and Shadows Fall, as well as headlining a European tour with supporting acts Annihilator and Sanctity and acquiring an opening slot on the Family Values Tour with Korn. Trivium was named the best live band of 2006 at the Metal Hammer Golden God Awards.
Trivium started working on a new album with producer Nick Raskulinecz in October 2007. Heafy stated he wanted to bring back the screaming that was found on Ascendancy, and the band said they chose not to work with Suecof again because they already recorded three albums with him and wanted to explore new ideas. Recording ended June 2008. In an interview with the UK's Metal Hammer magazine in May 2008, Heafy said that their new album was to have "more thrash influences, more screaming." He told Revolver magazine, "For the first time, we can't look at our songs and say who the riffs sound like. We're really making our own stuff and our own kind of music and art form, and that's exciting." In September 2008, Trivium released their fourth full-length album, Shogun. The album sold 24,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, and debut at number 23 on the Billboard 200 chart as well as Number 1 in the UK Rock Album Charts.
Trivium toured extensively throughout 2009 in support of Shogun, with two headline legs of the US, a headline slot on the Mayhem Festival second stage, an Australia/Japan leg, as well as a conclusive UK run in March 2010. Throughout their headline runs they have been supported by Chimaira, Darkest Hour, Dirge Within, Whitechapel, Rise to Remain and Black Tide. They were also booked as a co-headliner for Australia's Soundwave Festival in February 2010.
Travis Smith unofficially left the band on the second leg of the "Into the Mouth of Hell We Tour" tour. On February 4, 2010, the band announced that Travis had indeed officially left the band and fill-in drummer, ex-drum tech, Nick Augusto, was replacing him. Augusto is a former member of Maruta and Metal Militia, in which he played in with Gregoletto. The band has not yet stated the reason of his departure.
God of War III contribution and the departure of Travis Smith (2010)
Trivium contributed to the God of War III soundtrack by recording the song, "Shattering the Skies Above". It is exclusively included on God of War: Blood & Metal, a digital EP that comes with the Ultimate Edition of the game and is available from the iTunes Store. The band has also recorded a cover of the song "Slave New World" by Sepultura. "Shattering the Skies Above" was also released exclusively to their fanclub (TriviumWorld) on February 12, 2010 and was released widely on February 15. The next day their Sepultura cover "Slave New World" was released as a free download for members of the UK via Metal Hammer UK. Both of aforementioned songs re-issued on their deluxe version of the album "In Waves".
A couple of days after the release of Trivium's "Shattering the Skies Above", the band's first release that does not feature original drummer Travis Smith, frontman Matt Heafy opened up about why Trivium no longer includes Smith, and how former drum tech Nick Augusto was made into his replacement.
While Trivium's relationship with Smith had deteriorated over the years, the band had no immediate plans to replace him when he announced in late October 2009 that he would be sitting out the 'Into the Mouth of Hell We March' tour to take care of "some personal business." It was not until after the band members started playing with Augusto on the tour that they realized the injection of new blood served Trivium well.
"I was familiar with Nick's stuff with Maruta, and I knew he could play really fast, but I was really curious on how he'd do with our band," Heafy said. "I remember stepping out of the car and hearing him practicing 'Into the Mouth of Hell We March,' and I'd never heard the song played with that ferocity. It sounded like the album, but it was a little faster, harder and angrier. The first song we played [with him] was 'Rain' [from 2005's Ascendancy] and I remember him playing the end section and it was so effortless it almost looked fake. I looked at Corey and we both started laughing at the same time. I could tell we were both just thinking, 'Who the fuck is this guy?' So it's very cool he was able to bring that intensity to stuff that already existed and bring his own flair as well."
To this day, Heafy insists he has no idea exactly what 'personal issues' prevented Smith from touring, but he is grateful for the opportunity to play with Augusto, and wishes Smith the best of luck with his future endeavors.
In an interview with OneMetal.com, guitarist Corey Beaulieu added, "...over time, things just kinda weren’t working out, and we did a headline tour of the US and about halfway through Travis just said he wasn’t going to do the next tour, so regardless we had to think about getting someone to fill in, then once we started playing with Nick we just knew it was the right thing." On the nature of Smith's dismissal from the band, Beaulieu stated
In Waves (2010–2012)
In an interview with STV, Heafy has said: "Things are great and its definitely preparing us for our next record which is what we have been prepping for and we have been writing for it. It's going to be and has to be the best record we have ever done. Every record we say that but this is going to be definitive, this is going to be the one." Bassist Paolo Gregoletto adds: "We have been rehearsing full new songs at soundchecks and stuff. We have a lot of new ideas and every year we talk about what we want the album to be and we are still in the stages of finding where I think it's going to be and it's starting to shape up right now. We just have tons of material written already and after this tour, [we'll] take a small break and then we're hitting the warehouse where we rehearse and write the music and we're going to start demoing and hopefully we'll get it started by the summer and finished by the fall."
In an interview with Guitar World, it was stated that for their fifth studio album, Trivium will move forward by looking back. The group will forgo the complex epic compositions, tricked-out, leads and seven-string guitars that characterized its past two albums. Trivium will take an approach similar to that of its second album Ascendancy (2005) by using uncluttered riffs, drop-D tuning, and more straightforward solos. "When we did Ascendancy, we were writing specifically for the songs, not to show how well we could play," says frontman and guitarist Matt Heafy. "That wasn't exactly the case with our next two records."
Adds Heafy’s co-guitarist, Corey Beaulieu, "We're making sure every part in every song needs to be there and is super-catchy and doesn't go over people's heads." Heafy stated via Twitter that they will be entering the studio on January 2. Matt Heafy stated on December 11, that there are going to be 10–13 songs on the new album.
In the bonus content for the November 2011 issue of Guitar World, Matt Heafy talked about why the band decided to record this album in Drop D♭ as opposed to Drop D. "For the whole record of 'In Waves' we're in Drop D♭, so it's kind of like (Ascendency), just a half step lower, and everything that we do from all of the albums is half a step flat. It's mainly for the vocals. (It's) not that I can't sing higher, it's just easier with the amount of shows we do."
On June 6, Metal Hammer revealed that the band have decided to entitle their upcoming album In Waves and that it would be released on August 9, 2011. On June 19, Trivium debuted two new songs live in Birmingham entitled "Dusk Dismantled" and "Black". On the June 28 "Dusk Dismantled" was released to TriviumWorld users only; it was released to general public on the 29th. On July 13, the premiere of "Inception of the End" was released to the general public on the website Hot Topic.
In Waves was released on August 2011 worldwide, and while receiving generally positive reviews, it has also drawn some mixed reactions from both fans and critics. Kerrang! described the album as "draws from the band's entire repertoire and shapes what it finds into a defining and definitive set". A special edition was released featuring the tracks: "Ensnare the Sun", "A Grey So Dark", "Drowning in Slow Motion", "Slave New World" cover and the single from the God of War III soundtrack "Shattering the Skies Above".
Trivium participated in a co-headlining trek with Swedish melodic death metal band In Flames in both Europe and North America. European support came from Ghost, Rise to Remain and Insense. North American support came from Veil of Maya and Kyng. They also performed at the Metaltown Festival and Download Festival in June 2012.
From July 13 to August 28, 2012, Trivium took part in Metal Hammer's "Trespass America Festival" headlined by Five Finger Death Punch with additional support from Battlecross, God Forbid, Pop Evil, Emmure and Killswitch Engage.
On October 15, 2012, Trivium commenced a European headlining tour, supported by Caliban, As I Lay Dying and Upon A Burning Body.
Vengeance Falls (2013–present)
The band toured for In Waves until the end of the year. Matt Heafy also stated that they will start recording a new album in February 2013 and they already have around 13 demos made.
In March 2012, bassist Paolo Gregoletto told Australian webzine Loud Online that "I think it’s going to be heavier. We've been talking about it a lot, just a lot of stuff, like where we want to go with the next record. I think we've definitely learned to write better on the road and we're learning that writing with a more focused vision musically is the way to go. Not just all of us just writing as many songs as we can. I think we're all trying to be conscious of how much we're writing, what we're writing and really just spending the time with a smaller batch of songs, rather than writing like 40 songs and kinda being all over the place musically. But it's definitely I think going to be a heavier record. I mean, the last record, we had so much time; we had like two years and we wrote an album over the course of two drummers, so it was like, when we started writing we were in a different headspace than when we actually recorded. So we had a lot of material, which was great. But I think now that things have smoothed out on the personal side of things for the band, I think we can focus solely on just the musical vision of what Trivium is and really have no, outside of the musical stuff we have nothing going on that’s kinda like drawing from that."
On January 14, 2013, Matt Heafy announced via Twitter that the band had entered the studio. It was later revealed that they hired David Draiman of the heavy metal bands Device and Disturbed as a producer. In an interview, David Draiman revealed to Thrash Hits that the title of Trivium's forthcoming sixth album is Vengeance Falls
Vengeance Falls was produced at a studio in Austin, Texas and was mixed by Colin Richardson, who has previously worked with Fear Factory, Machine Head, Napalm Death, Slipknot and Bullet for My Valentine.
On March 18, 2013, David Draiman was interviewed about the record and said: "I just finished tracking the Trivium record. We're getting that mixed sometime this week. I've been friends with those guys for a while, but their last record is really what drew me to them. In Waves was a big record for them. It opened the door, as far as I was concerned for us to be able to work together from a creative standpoint. I think they took a big step with that record. This album we just finished is another gigantic step for them. What we've been working on is all I've been listening to."
On July 23, 2013, Trivium announced a United States headlining tour, co-headlining with DevilDriver, with supporting acts After the Burial and Sylosis, which would reveal the first information of the new album. Vengeance Falls was released on October 15, 2013.
On July 31, 2013, the new song "Brave This Storm" was released for streaming and made available to download for free.
On August 23, 2013, it was announced that Trivium would be playing at Australia's Soundwave Festival in late February and early March 2014.
The new album is set to have 10 tracks on release. Trivium also recorded a new music video which will be the single called "Strife" with director Ramon Boutviseth (All That Remains, For Today) which would be available for free download to anyone who pre-orders "Vengeance Falls". Pre-orders will be available August 20, 2013.
On October 8, 2013, the album was made available for streaming on Trivium.org.
Vengeance Falls was released on October 15, 2013.
Trivium are referred to multiple heavy metal styles such as metalcore, thrash metal, progressive metal, groove metal, and melodic death metal.
Their style has evolved over the years from their earliest work on Ember to Inferno right through to In Waves, there is a clear thrash influence from Metallica and Machine Head, as well as some early In Flames.
Upon the release of their second album Ascendancy, Trivium were identified as melodic metalcore with strong elements of thrash metal, with the third track on the album “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr” becoming a permanent fixture in the band's set lists and the rest of the album selling itself to gold status. Ascendancy was even featured as one of Metal Hammer’s Albums of the Decade. Later releases have marked changes in the band. The Crusade was seen as a major shift in musical direction due to the change in vocal style, namely the absence of screaming, and some of the melodies featured.
The Crusade is a much more thrash-oriented album and lyrical content was also different in direction, citing current affairs, such as the famous killings. In Autumn 2008, Trivium released Shogun, which has a heavy Japanese influence on its title track as well as the first single release "Kirisute Gomen", which translates to "authorization to cut and leave". Acknowledging Matt Heafy’s Japanese heritage, the album also was described more favorably as more their own style, as previous references to Trivium sounding like Metallica had been made on the back of The Crusade. The Crusade made sparing use of 7-string guitars, which were featured heavily on Shogun.
In their recent release In Waves the band featured a sound closer to Ascendancy than The Crusade and Shogun and features their more melodic metalcore sound than thrash metal. The guitar tuning instead of being in Drop D, they went half a step lower to drop C#. The album has several songs, such as 'Built to Fall' or 'Dusk Dismantled', featuring solely clean vocals or screamed vocals from Matt Heafy.
Trivium's music mixes "soaring" and "crushing" riffs, dual guitar harmonies, double bass drum patterns and occasional blast beats and breakdowns that one can expect from the metalcore genre. Vocally Trivium combines both singing along with heavy screaming and growls.
Trivium is one of the notable New Wave of American Heavy Metal acts.
Trivium has stated that in general they are influenced by musical groups such as Opeth, Nevermore, Dream Theater, Emperor, In Flames, Arch Enemy, Machine Head, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Slayer, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Testament, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Killswitch Engage, Skid Row, Def Leppard, Angra, Underoath, Martyr and Death.
In an interview with Roadrunner Records, Matt stated he was influenced by a whole range of music genres. Through each stage in his life, he's listened to all different types of music. As a kid, he listened to a lot of Pop Punk like Blink-182, and Reel Big Fish. From there the list is endless naming bands like Pantera, Slayer, Children of Bodom, Dark Tranquillity, Mercenary, Krisiun, Dimmu Borgir, Dark Funeral, Anorexia Nervosa, Poison the Well, Hatebreed, Yngwie Malmsteen, Queen, Dashboard Confessional, Further Seems Forever, Depeche Mode, and The Beatles.
Lyrical themes on the album The Crusade includes famous killings. "Entrance of the Conflagration" is about Andrea Yates's murder of her five children, "Unrepentant" is about Nazir Ahmad's murder of his three daughters and stepdaughter, "Contempt Breeds Contamination" is about the death of Amadou Diallo, and "And Sadness Will Sear" is based upon the murder of Matthew Shepard. Another common theme on this album is unity or "being united" with songs like "Anthem (We Are the Fire)" and "The Rising". Another lyrical theme that is noticed is in the song "Becoming the Dragon," which is based on the Japanese mythology story of a fish (or known as Koi in the song) climbing to Dragon Gate and transforms into a dragon and becomes kings over the nation.
Many of the songs on Shogun draw lyrical inspiration from Greek mythology. "Into the Mouth of Hell We March" and "Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis" detail the story of Odysseus choosing whether to face the giant whirlpool Charybdis or the 6-headed monster Scylla. "He Who Spawned the Furies" is about the Titan Cronos devouring his children and castrating his father Uranus, creating Aphrodite and the Erinýes (the Furies). "Of Prometheus and the Crucifix" references the daily torment of Prometheus and alludes to crucifixion of Jesus Christ, serving as a metaphor for enduring torment by the public for daring to contribute something new to society. "Like Callisto to a Star in Heaven" is written from the perspective of the nymph Callisto, detailing her rape and impregnation by Zeus and her transformations into a bear and into Ursa Major. "Down from the Sky" features a contemporary theme, chastising those who spark wars for profit or religion, and warning of nuclear holocaust.
- Ember to Inferno (2003)
- Ascendancy (2005)
- The Crusade (2006)
- Shogun (2008)
- In Waves (2011)
- Vengeance Falls (2013)
- Official website
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