The pandemic put all bands on the sidelines when it came to touring. Musicians used that downtime in different ways. Trivium’s Matt Heafy became a constant presence on Twitch, playing live and entertaining fans across the globe. That creative spark was also directed toward the band’s latest album In The Court Of The Dragon, which arrives just 18 months after last year’s What The Dead Men Say.
Without the ability to tour until recently, album cycles have been accelerated, reminiscent of the old days when bands would release an album every year or so instead of three or four years between records. That compressed time frame did not reduce the quality of the songs on In The Court Of The Dragon. The band embraced their past along with continuing down the path they’ve forged recently, creating an album that’s wide-ranging and engaging.
Overall it’s more epic in scope than What The Dead Men Say, especially the second half of the record. After an intro, the title track is aggressive and heavy with mostly harsh vocals from Heafy, with some really catchy riffs and clever fills along with a blazing solo.
There are several other focused, radio-ready songs such as “Feast Of Fire,” with mostly melodic singing with a few harsh sections providing an interesting contrast. Trivium amp up the tempo on “No Way Back Just Through,” filled with catchy moments and another batch of quality riffs.
The album has three songs over seven minutes. To me, the album highlight is “The Shadow Of The Abbattoir,” which starts out mellow with Heafy using a subdued baritone. It kicks in with a catchy chorus, there’s a lengthy instrumental break, and then it gets heavier with harsh vocals before the melodies return. It’s a really interesting arrangement and flows extremely well.
Another one of the epic songs is “Fall Into Your Hands.” Drummer Alex Bent is showcased at the beginning and shines throughout the track. It probably has the most shifts in tempo and intensity of any of the songs on the album, making the nearly eight minutes fly by.
Trivium have a lot of influences, and expertly combine them on In The Court Of The Dragon. Accessible hard rock shifts into melodic death metal and thrash. The combination of singing and harsh vocals is very effective.
This is the third consecutive album that Trivium have worked with producer Josh Wilbur (Lamb Of God, Soulfly). The pairing works well, as the album has pristine sound and is dynamic. The amount of filler on In The Court Of The Dragon is minimal, an album that is consistently good from beginning to end.
(released October 8, 2021 on Roadrunner Records)
Heavy Music HQ Rating:
Watch Trivium – “Feast Of Fire” Video