Trivium - What the Dead Men Say

Trivium What the Dead Men Say cover
What the Dead Men Say
Roadrunner Records
Well, looking at this insane start to 2020, we as fans of music, have a unique opportunity at this point: we can sit down and listen to some amazing albums in their entirety. No distractions, just full attention and immersion in the music we love. And the Florida metal giants Trivium give us more than a taste with “What the Dead Men Say”. As singer-guitarist Matt Heafy stated: “On this album, one can hear the proper ingredients of past, present, and future Trivium. The Trivium sound is having everything the band does – on one album”.
Released on April 24th via Roadrunner Records, I was excited for the opportunity to give the album a spin. And another spin. And another one. You get my drift. Let’s run down this album.
As one of our writers stated, “We should just say, ‘It’s f****ng awesome, end of story’. I agree, but there’s so much to talk about.
Starting off with the medieval-esque “IX”, it seamlessly, and beautifully leads you into the title track “What the Dead Men Say”. Some of the coolest harmonies and intricate riffs fill the intro of this cut. And when Matt Heafy’s voice permeates the track, you can feel it in your bones that this is the just the beginning of an amazing album.
“Catastrophist” leads in and brings the more anthem-like sound that makes you want this song as your battle hymn. Again, the seamless riff changes and sudden stops are trademark Trivium.
Next, “Amongst the Shadows and the Stone” Matt and crew throw out a tooth grinder. Right from the opening note, you have nothing to hold onto but your dear life. This one drives a hole through your head.
“Bleed Into Me” starts off with this dirty compressed bass line that, if your speakers aren’t dialed in, are going to hurt after this song is over. I love the harmonies, they simply blow me away. This type of songwriting transports me back to days of picking up Iron Maiden and Metallica albums.
“The Defiant”, at its core, is multifaceted with the quick changes and speed picking. Another anthem into battle.
“Sickness Unto You” allows some showcasing for drummer Alex Bent. Starting off with some very powerful drum fills as Matt chants over the music bed. The transition into the main riff is very erratic, and gives a feeling of anxiousness and tension.
“Scattering the Ashes” needs to be in a movie, hands down. A very cool buildup into the chorus. The arpeggiation throughout this song is flawless.
Unfortunately, we’re coming near to the end… but the album finishes so strong with “Bending the Arc to Fear” and “The Ones We Leave Behind”. Two totally different songs, by their sound and emotion, but nonetheless…. Trivium. What a great way to close out this album!
Looking back over this album, and to try to generalize and close out this review is impossible. All I can say is, being a huge fan of metal, good composition and music, Trivium has more than enough to offer. This is what solid musicianship and great songwriting sounds like.