No matter the medium, every artist reaches a point of imminent self-realization. It's the moment when the vision finally comes into focus and the pieces fit perfectly. The identity becomes grasped tighter than ever, while boldly forging ahead into the future. Exterior circumstances fall into place, and everything coalesces into a perfect storm of blood, sweat, and tears. For Trivium, Vengeance Falls rises from that crossroads. The band's sixth full-length album fuses their patented tough and technical metallic prowess with courageous and charismatic melody, ultimately yielding their heaviest and most hypnotic work thus far. Everything happened at the right time, as if it were meant to be all along…
While the Florida outfit commenced touring in support of 2011's critically acclaimed In Waves, the members—Matt Heafy [vocals, guitar], Paolo Gregoletto [bass], Corey Beaulieu [guitar], and Nick Augusto [drums]—started compiling ideas for what would eventually become Vengeance Falls. In fact, the road would even serve as a crucial catalyst for the music.
"We were inspired by things around us and the tours we were on," affirms Paolo. "We used that energy from the shows and the way we felt to write music. There was an incredible creative chemistry between all of us."
"From the beginning, we wanted to make something familiar yet bigger and bolder," adds Matt. "This record sounds like an expansion of some of the best parts of themes we've explored across the past few records. It's the perfect summary of what our vision of this band is today."
The events on the road remained integral to reaching that clarity. While on the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, the band gave an advance copy of In Waves to Disturbed and Device singer David Draiman. The act of slipping him a CD ignited the entire recording process. Falling in love with the record, David immediately approached the boys about producing its follow-up. It would mark his first time behind the board as a producer.
"Something about In Waves caught his attention," recalls Paolo. "He said, if possible, we could work together and really push the Trivium sound to the next level. Any time we came through Austin, he was at the shows, and we'd talk about what we wanted to achieve. He had so much passion for the band, and that really sealed the deal. It made us realize he was the right guy to work with."
Before heading to David's home studio in Austin to record, an unexpected event added fuel to the band's thematic approach to their new album—while on tour in Montana, members of the band clashed with local thugs while walking outside the venue. "There was no reason for it. There were fifteen of them, saying they had guns. We fought, and it was over, but it was such an unnecessary episode of violence. The experience affected our writing—this is definitely an angrier record."
Channeling that aggression, Trivium immersed themselves in the process as soon as they got to Draiman’s studio in January 2013. The producer challenged them to take their signature style and enhance it in a myriad of ways.
Matt goes on, "I never worked with someone who pushed me to the limits he did. He's a singer who has completely mastered his instrument. He's classically trained and he sings in a live band. That mindset definitely encouraged us to evolve. David wanted me to be the best singer I could be. He ultimately broke each of us down into what we are and made us better."
It's easy to hear on the record's pummeling opener "Brave This Storm". A sharp riff crashes into an immense groove before spiraling out into the singer's soaring refrain. Nothing repeats exactly the same, and the track rains down raw emotion.
"It's the most challenging to play and sing," smiles the frontman. "The guitars and vocals are running at different rhythms, and it's got this powerful swing to it."
Elsewhere, the first single "Strife" tempers bludgeoning six-string complexity with an unshakable hook, fret-burning lead, and arena-size chant. "It's like that internal anger everyone faces within him or herself," says Paolo. "Those lyrics came after we were done touring, and it was part of the catharsis. We've never made a record that was this direct."
The title track builds into a maelstrom of distortion and anthemic power and everything comes to a head on "Wake (The End Is Nigh)," where a clean classically-inspired guitar wraps around Matt's soulful delivery before exploding for one final call-to-arms.
Trivium have been working towards this kind of proclamation since they first burst onto the scene with 2005's Ascendancy. That album would go on to sell over half-a-million copies worldwide and send the band on the fast track to joining metal's finest. The Crusade (2006) and Shogun (2008) only sped up their momentum as they graced the same stages as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Korn, and Slipknot and played to fervent audiences at Download Festival, OZZfest, Family Values, and more. Then, 2011 saw them enjoy their highest debut on the Billboard Top 200 as In Waves entered the chart at Number 13, moving 22,000 copies during release week. Meanwhile, it topped the Billboard Hard Rock chart. Now, they're ready for their biggest and best chapter yet.
"I hope this inspires people to do something," concludes Matt. "I hope it inspires them to pick up instruments, start composing poetry, begin writing a book, or just being creative. I want it to encourage creativity and show everyone there's so much more to life. When the chips are down and things are going bad, you can make something or escape to somewhere else. I want to be that escape. Even though this is a dark record, it can create positivity for those who dive into it."
This is who Trivium are. This is Vengeance Falls.