LIVE REVIEW: Trivium at the Academy (Feb 11th 2017)

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Date: February 11th, 2017
Venue: The Academy, Dublin
Line-up: Trivium + Sikth + Shvpes

Trivium’s last show in Dublin was back in 2014 when the group were still supporting their album Vengeance Falls. A couple of weeks before the show vocalist Matt Heafy was taken ill after blowing out his vocals and was advised against performing. There were fears that the show would be cancelled but the band persevered and Matt was backed up by his fellow bandmates to finish the tour run. The band now returns as part of their final Silence in the Snow support shows and hopes are that they can push out a killer performance this time.

Opening band for this tour are British newcomers Shvpes. The young band, who recently released their debut album Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair, come out with enthusiasm and excitement one would expect from their age. We’re taken aback with their modern retro sound of the 00’s, nu and alternative metal riffing with hardcore tendencies and arena ready choruses. Vocalist Griffin Dickinson tried his damnedest to get the crowd moving, indicating a several points that he wanted circle pits started even going as far to jump into the crowd to start one himself. While I can appreciate their determination, their music wasn’t really all that exciting if I’m being honest.

If you asked around the venue it wouldn’t be too surprising to find that a good chunk of people were drawn to tonight’s show to see cult djent pioneers SikTh. The band reformed in 2013 and since then have been building up momentum for a new album which the band have been locked away working on, vocalist Mikee Goodman joking that they were suffering from cabin fever. The band were missing second guitarist Pin due to some family issues and were left with sole guitarist Dan Weller to take over the reins, it was missing that heavy edge but it still sounded fine. Admittedly their performance took a couple of songs to get into the swing of things but it was the back and forth chemistry between Goodman and fellow vocalist Joe Rosser that really drew my interest. Both performed clean and harsh vocals but their styles meshed so well together and played off each other’s strengths, Goodman even had a moment for a vocal ‘solo’ showing a wide range of vocal styles and delivery. The instrumental sections provided a good chance to see the instrumentalists skills, particularly that of guitarist Weller and bassist James Leach and their fascinating synchronized tapping solos.

Before Trivium took to the stage the PA was blaring a song recognised by every metal fan, ‘Run to the Hills’. With this the crowd had their singing voices primed and ready for the headliner to appear. With a short instrumental playing the band took their positions on the stage and blazed straight into ‘Rain’ from Ascendancy. While Matt Heafy’s vocals aren’t quite what they used to be, they are much better than their previous visit, relying less on his bandmates.

Despite this being the last leg of their Silence in the Snow tour the setlist was quite varied with each of their albums being represented in some way. The versatility in the band’s music over the years leads to a variety of crowd reactions, from the deafening sing along to ‘Down from the Sky’ and ‘Rise above the Tides’ to the first big circle pit for ‘Entrance of the Conflagration’. A large amount of the set came from the bands breakthrough album Ascendancy with the bigger hits like ‘Dying in your Arms’ to the lesser played ‘The Deceived’.

Matt’s newly rediscovered clean voice was shown off with the arena ready title track of their latest album but isn’t afraid to show he still has the ability to pull off those harsh vocals by moving swiftly into ‘Pillars of Serpents’ from the debut album when he was just a teenager. He’s not alone on vocals; however, with guitarist Corey Beaulieu backing him up with some lower growls in between his numerous solos and bassist Pablo Gregoletto providing clean harmonies.

Unfortunately the band has had another drummer change in recent weeks with Paul Wandtke being quietly replaced by Alex Bent of Battlecross fame. Tonight’s show was his debut with Trivium, although lacking some presence; he did justice to the high standard set by Travis Smith and Nick Augusto.

‘A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation’ is full of everything you could want from a metal song, heavy enough for headbanging, fast enough to form circle pits and breaks in the middle for arena level of fist pumping. The band saved their biggest and best until last with early hit ‘Pull Harder on the Strings of your Martyr’ riling up the crowd before they leave for a brief respite before the encore. The crowd already know what to expect when ‘Capsizing the Waves’ begins to play over the PA which signals a large group to spread out, ready for a pit to begin. They were a little dumbfounded when Matt then instructed them to get on the floor to jump, keeping their places they got down and jumped into the pit as they were told for ‘In Waves’.

Setlist:
Rain
Forsake Not the Dream
Down From the Sky
Rise Above the Tides
Entrance of the Conflagration
The Deceived
Dying in Your Arms
Strife
Dusk Dismantled
Throes of Perdition
Silence in the Snow
Pillars of Serpents
A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation
Until the World Goes Cold
Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr

Encore:
In Waves

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