Trivium is an American Heavy Metal band formed in 1999, originally from Orlando, Florida. The band has already released ten studio albums.
Ember to Inferno (2000 – 2004)
It all started at a talent show at Lake Brantley High School, where guitarist Matt Heafy played cover versions of “No Leaf Clover” (Metallica) and “Self Esteem” (The Offspring). Vocalist Brad Lewter noticed Heafy and invited him to join his band. The pair went to drummer Travis Smith’s house and played Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Impressed with Heafy’s performance, they accepted him into the band known as “Trivium”, which is how one of the most talented and famous Metalcore bands started.
After several shows in local bars and clubs, Lewter left the band, and Heafy assumed his position as the band’s new lead singer. In early 2003, the band entered the studio to record their first high-quality demo. A copy of the demo was heard by the German label Lifeforce, who signed Trivium. The band entered the studio to record their debut album, “Ember to Inferno”.
As time passed, Corey Beaulieu joined the band. In 2004, Paolo Gregoletto joined as bassist to replace Brent Young before a tour with Machine Head. “Ember to Inferno” was a short Thrash Metal song that piqued the interest of Roadrunner Records representatives, who liked Trivium. So they started writing songs for their second album, their first on a major label.
In 2004, Trivium recorded their second album, “Ascendancy”, at Audiohammer Studios and Morrisound Recording in Florida. Produced by Heafy and Jason Suecof, the album was released in May 2005. It debuted at 151st place on the Billboard 200 and 4th on the Top Heatseekers list.
Allmusic reviewer Johnny Loftus said Trivium was a “ridiculously rare quartet, delivering thrilling dual guitar passages and kicking drum gallops as surely as they do melodic breaks and vicious screams”, and Rod Smith of Decibel Magazine praised “the beats Smith’s impeccable articulations, bassist Paolo Gregoletto’s restrained thunder, and, especially, Heafy and Beaulileu’s twin guitars.” The album was also recognized as “Album of the Year” by Kerrang!
In 2005, Trivium played the first set on the Download Festival main stage in Donnington, England. This performance is widely considered to be Trivium’s best to date. Matt Heafy credits it as the show that launched Trivium onto 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 were shown on MTV2’s Headbangers Ball, and “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr” became one of their best-known songs and is normally used to close the show. To support 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 biggest influences. They played at Road Rage 2005, Ozzfest, and performed at the Download Festival. Ascendancy was re-released in 2006 with four bonus tracks and a DVD containing the band’s music videos and live footage.
In April 2006, after touring with Mendeed and God Forbid, Trivium entered the studio with Suecof and Heafy produced again.
The band played at the Download Festival again, this time on the main stage with Korn and Metallica. Trivium released The Crusade in October 2006. Debuting at #25 on Billboard, the album sold more than 32,000 copies in its first week of sales. The album was a critical success, with Andy Green of Rolling Stone calling out, “Nothing marks a good Metal record more than supposedly angry vocals,” and Don Kaye of Blabbermouth declaring “The Crusade” to be one of the best releases of 2006 and quite possibly the heavy music album of the year.
On “The Crusade”, Heafy’s vocals changed from a guttural Death Metal vocal, which at the time was one of Heafy’s main influences, who often wore shirts from extreme bands like Death that were heard on Ascendancy, for cleaner vocals and singing on this album. This new singing style and the band’s Thrash Metal music were heavily criticized for sounding too much like Metallica, greatly influencing the band.
Heafy commented on the change:
“If anyone is wondering why the screaming is gone, it’s because the four of us never liked bands that scream, and we don’t like any of the current bands that scream, so we wonder why we are doing this. At that time, I wanted to be a singer better because that’s what I wanted to hear, so we dropped the screaming, and I did a lot of vocal training.”
The band toured in support of the album with Iron Maiden Metallica, also performing on the Black Crusade Tour with Machine Head, Arch Enemy, DragonForce and Shadows Fall, and headlining a European tour with Annihilator and Sanctity, supporting and gaining airplay on Family Values Tour with Korn. Trivium was named best live band in 2006 at the Metal Hammer Golden Awards.
In late 2016, guitarist Corey Beaulieu stated that the band would spend most of 2017 working on their new album. In an interview, bassist Paolo Gregoletto stated that the new material will be more “extreme” and that the band will return to featuring screaming vocals on the new album.
In early 2017, the band split with drummer Paul Wandtke, which led to arguments in the Trivium fan community. Corey Beaulieu defended the band’s decision to change drummers in an interview. Replacement Alex Bent, formerly of Battlecross, was announced on January 23. In April 2017, Corey Beaulieu stated that there would be a new album but did not mention any timeline for recording as the band is going through a discussion process.
On July 26, 2017, the band began teasing their website with a message “VIII. I.” indicating “August 1”.
On August 1, 2017, the band released the new single “The Sin and the Sentence”, accompanied by a music video for their new album, which was intended to be released later that year. To promote the album, the band announced a North American tour with Arch Enemy in the fall of 2017, with While Dorme and Fit for an Autopsy as supporting acts.
On August 24, the band released the second single, “The Heart From Your Hate”, and revealed the release date and release of The Sin and the Sentence, released on October 20, 2017.
The album “In the Court of the Dragon” was named the 11th best rock/metal album of 2021 by Loudwire, which also named the title track the 15th best Metal song of 2021.
Trivium is essentially a Heavy Metal band; however, they have characteristics typical of Thrash Metal and sometimes Death Metal. Their style has evolved over the years from “Ember to Inferno” to “Shogun;” there is a clear influence from Metallica and a bit of the old In Flames.
The second album, “Ascendancy”, was extremely applauded upon its release. By this time, Trivium was heavily labelled Metalcore, with the third track, “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr”, becoming an anthem and the rest of the album taking it to gold status, “Ascendancy” was even named “Album of the Decade” by Metal Hammer.
Later releases marked changes in the band, with the release of “The Crusade” seen as the biggest change in musical direction attributed to the change in vocals and some of the melodies.
“The Crusade” was a much more technical and progressive album. Still, the content of the lyrics was also different, citing recent events, such as the Yates murderers and the killing of Amadou Diallo in 1999. In the autumn of 2008, Shogun was released, with a clear Japanese influence in the title track and the first single, Kirisute Gomen, which translates as “sorry for cutting in front of you”, a samurai-used expression. Acknowledging Matt Heafy’s Japanese heritage, the album has also been described more favourably as his style, as references to the band sounding too much like Metallica were made around the time of The Crusade.
The band stated that, in general, they are influenced by bands such as Opeth, Nevermore, Dream Theater, Emperor, In Flames, Arch Enemy, Machine Head, Misfits, Dead Kennedys, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Slayer, Pantera, Sepultura, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Testament, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Killswitch Engage, Skid Row, Def Leppard, Angra, Underoath, Martyr and Death.
Ember to Inferno (2003)
The Crusade (2006)
In Waves (2011)
Vengeance Falls (2013)
Silence in the Snow (2015)
The Sin And The Sentence (2017)
What The Dead Man Say (2020)
In the Court of the Dragon (2021)