Touring in support of their enormous eighth album The Sin And The Sentence, Floridian four-piece Trivium made huge waves by revealing one of the strongest metal line-ups the UK has seen in years. With a bill showcasing Blighty’s new blood in the form of Venom Prison, and US heavy hitters Power Trip and Code Orange, the five UK dates were not to be missed, and we were present at the close of it all.
Venom Prison have been ticking all our metal-centric boxes for a little while now. Their debut record Animus is pure adult-rated hell spawn and prior to gracing our stages here in the UK, they were an immediate choice to tear up Europe with Trivium from the off. Bringing forward stacks of sonic doom, thundering vocals and vertebrae bending riffs, Venom Prison delivered a setlist equal to that of an audible exorcism, with highlights for us being ‘Desecration Of Human Privilege’ and ‘Devoid’. Although they hadn’t had any trouble doing it on their own, this tour has without a doubt firmly put Venom Prison on the map, be sure to keep an eye for their next tour dates, surely a headline tour is coming soon. Finally, their merch is fucking sick. Buy it.
There really is no better feeling as an audience member at a show than having your brain stewed by a band you’ve until then never seen before. In this case, our brain ladling was down to the combined efforts of Texas thrash masters Power Trip, whose sheer power and energy gave until gloop dripped from our ears. Thrash done right, just gives you that fizz in your loins. Absolute noise porn that you just can’t get enough of. The majority of that pornography came from Power Trip’s latest release Nightmare Logic. A thrash metal New Testament housing bangers like ‘Firing Squad’ and the anthemic ‘Executioner’s Tax (Swing Of The Axe)’. Despite their set being stopped, (TWICE!), due to folks in the pit getting ‘Mufasa’d’*, Power Trip gave a practically faultless performance in our eyes. Face melting solos, dive-bombs, riffs and high kicks, what more could you really want? *Lion King reference.
So, we’ve had death metal. We’ve had thrash. Then, we had Code Orange. The band you can’t exactly label with a genre other than absolutely fucking mental. The Pittsburgh powerhouses have been a household name in the metal scene since the release of their third record Forever, and the notorious support slot on the 2017 Gojira headline tour. Added to the UK leg of the tour as a sort of bellowing sugar cube, their addition to the bill sweetened things up indeed. Punters are mad for this band. As soon as that ominous panther head is raised above the stage, people just lose their minds. It’s incredible. Looming over their audience like only Code Orange can, enter the harrowing that is ‘My World’. With tracks from the formerly mentioned Forever filling the majority of the setlist, we did get a very slight mix of styles in regards to the almost grungy fan favourite ‘Bleeding In The Blur’ when compared to the world eating ‘Real’. Code Orange were great, although to be critical we’ve seen them greater. Perhaps it’s a venue size thing, or just that we’ve learnt what to expect. It’s like seeing Kate Beckinsale in a nylon tracksuit. Still jaw dropping to look at, but not on the levels of Underworld.
Having not seen Trivium play live since the release of The Sin And The Sentence, it was really exciting knowing that some of the albums biggest hits would be making it into the setlist. This was also our first time experiencing Alex Bent behind the kit, but we’ll get to that in a little bit. Opening with ‘The Sin And The Sentence’, Trivium immediately dove into what they do best. Playing loud, fast and making sure we all had an amazing time with them. Not many can work a crowd like Matt Heafy, and hearing him tear into those gruesome screams on ‘Betrayer’ and ‘Like Light To Flies’ was almost nostalgic. Trivium as a unit just resonates so seamlessly. Corey Beaulieu and Paolo Gregoletto kill it every time let’s be honest, and returning back to Alex on drums, the man is an absolute machine. Don’t confuse this as negativity on past Trivium drummers when we say that Alex is perfect for this band. He has mastered past material and the new stuff, and will no doubt bring forward more wizardry in future releases. Besides the new tracks, the Trivium setlist had some obscure ones from the back catalogue tucked in there too. ‘Becoming The Dragon’ and ‘Drowned And Torn Asunder’ for example were included this time around with no sign of ‘Strife’, ‘Dying In Your Arms’ or ‘Down From The Sky’. It’s that old argument of “not playing the same songs every time” and we respect that. However when you’re on the ground and they’re not present you do kind of miss them. We got ‘In Waves’ so we can’t whinge too much. Trivium is a special group of people. Still very much considered a young metal band, with eight fucking albums. That’s insane. What’s great about them though is their humility. Trivium love to play and they love us for showing up time and time again. The UK loves you Trivium, come back and crush it again real soon.