Anthem | Entertainment | Metal
Must be 21 or older. Doors open one hour prior to show start time.
Various belief systems throughout history exalt the number 10 as divine. 10 years comprise a decade, we traditionally possess 10 fingers and 10 toes, our very decimal system remains based on 10, and so on and so forth. Trivium grasp for collective perfection on their 10th full-length offering, In The Court of the Dragon [Roadrunner Records]. Following 22 years, over 1 million units moved, hundreds of sold-out shows, and half-a-billion streams, the GRAMMY® Award-nominated Florida quartet—Matt Heavy [vocals, guitar], Corey Beaulieu [guitar], Paolo Gregoletto [bass], and Alex Bent [drums]—deliver a definitive statement cast in ironclad guitar fireworks, pummeling rhythms, lyrical provocations, and stadium-shaking choruses. It springs from the past, seizes the present, and hints at the future of Trivium—and metal—all at once.
“Getting to album 10 felt momentous,” says Paolo. “Not many bands get this far, so it had to live up to being the 10th record. We didn’t know if we were going to be able to tour, so it had to still be impressive enough to keep everyone’s attention. It was the sole focus for the last ten months. We had to make sure we met the bar we’ve set for our fans and ourselves.”
“To be 10 records in is an accomplishment in and of itself,” agrees Corey. “To us, this music felt special. We’re the strongest we’ve ever been as friends and as a band. I hope it shows in the songs.”
“I feel like we’re four people who just started a new band with all of the aspirations and dreams in the world,” exclaims Matt. “I’m excited to go to practice. I’m excited to play our music. I’m very happy to be in the band with these three guys. 22 years into this thing, that’s incredible.”
Those 22 years have set the stage for this era. Trivium crafted a classic in the form of Ascendancy. It concluded 2005 as KERRANG!’s “Album of the Year,” went gold in the UK, and has since surpassed global sales of 500,000 copies. Retrospectively, Metal Hammer cited it in the Top 15 of the “The Greatest Metal Albums of the Century.” They’ve earned six straight Top 25 debuts on the Billboard Top 200 and six Top 3 debuts on the Top Rock Albums Chart. One of many standouts from 2017’s The Sin and The Sentence, the single “Betrayer” garnered a GRAMMY® Award nod in the category of “Best Metal Performance.” The quartet reached new heights on 2020’s What The Dead Men Say, appearing everywhere from The New York Times, NPR, Forbes, Billboard, Tech Crunch, and Kotaku to Revolver and Alternative Press. They are the rare band who can incinerate a stage alongside Metallica and Iron Maiden and hold a captive audience of tens of thousands on a Twitch stream.
In the midst of the Global Pandemic, the members safely congregated in order to practice and volley ideas back and forth. During the summer, Alex and his wife moved across the country from California to Florida as Paolo also relocated back home. Once conditions permitted, they returned to the studio in Full Sail University with producer Josh Wilbur [Lamb of God, A Day To Remember] in 2021.
“When I moved, everything changed,” says Alex. “We could easily get on a group text to practice or write virtually anytime. It isn’t like I had to hop on a plane anymore. Everything was so much simpler and smoother. We weren’t working with any time limitations, and everything paid off.”
It most certainly did…Trivium sent shockwaves through heavy metal with the surprise release of the first single and title track “In The Court of The Dragon.” Within a month, the song piled up millions of streams as Guitar World hailed it as “one of the standout metal tracks of the year.” With its striking renaissance-inspired artwork, enigmatically unnerving fantasy visual, and conflagration of guttural screams, hammering percussion, orchestral intro courtesy of Ihsahn [Emperor], and sweeping hooks, it unlocked a gateway into another realm.
“As far as the meaning goes, there is no right or wrong answer,” grins Matt. “I want people to come up with their own interpretations of everything they hear, see, and experience on In The Court of the Dragon. Of course, I’m obsessed with Scandinavian stories, Vikings, Japanese history, and the tales of Odin, Thor, Ragnarok, and the end of the world, Paolo was like, ‘Why don’t we create our own mythology?’ We’ve definitely used pre-existing myths for inspiration in the past. We created our own myth now.”
Meanwhile, “Feast Of Fire” burns bright with a massive chant hyper-charged by nimble melodic thrash and a smart-bomb precise solo. “To us, ‘Feast Of Fire’ is in the direct lineage of ‘Dying In Your Arms’, ‘Unti The World Goes Cold’, and ‘Black’,” Matt observes. “We really fleshed it out perfectly with the chorus, and it was meant to feel big.”
Then, there’s “Like A Sword Over Damocles.” A hulking groove gives way to a skyscraping refrain uplifted by thick distortion.
“I had the initial backbone of the song, and I really wanted to do a barnburner,” Corey reveals. “I had researched the concept. It was a cool story about the struggles of being someone in power and always having people question you. What happens when the person who’s questioning you has your job and responsibility? They don’t want it. Paolo built on that idea, and we made our own story. I’m really stoked for everyone to hear it.”
The near eight-minute “Fall Into Your Hands” originated on Matt’s uber popular daily Twitch stream and organically progressed into one of the most epic compositions in the band’s catalog. However, everything culminates on “The Phalanx.” It twists and turns through incendiary leads, heart-wrenching screams, an entrancing melody, and final symphonic comedown.
“Thematically and musically, the song has three acts,” Matt states. “For as conceptual as it is, it also reflects our chemistry in the room. Since we’re so technically proficient at our instruments and I spend hours singing every day on stream, we’re over prepared. For In The Court of the Dragon and What the Dead Men Say, we went in and played without thinking. We default to technical, elaborate, and long ideas, because that’s what we grew up on. It all felt natural.”
In the end, Trivium have inched towards this moment for ten albums and finally arrived like never before as they triumphantly rise In The Court of the Dragon.
“This album has everything,” Matt leaves off. “It has the singing, the screaming, the death metal, the black metal, and the catchy metal. When we have all of those elements together, we’re the happiest. It’s the key to Trivium.”
“This is a new chapter,” Paolo concludes. “We’re crossing into something else. I don’t know what it is, but I’m excited for it. We have a lot left in us, and I want to prove that.” – Rick Florino, August 2021