Here’s the thing about Trivium - they have a very clear idea of who they are and what they’re doing. Their new album The Sin And The Sentence is another in a long line of records that do something different while still sounding unmistakably Trivium. Similarities could be drawn to Vengeance Falls, where the band collaborated with Disturbed frontman David Draiman as producer, putting more effort and focus on the vocal melodies. But this time around, bassist/backing vocalist Paolo Gregoletto contributed the bulk of the lyrics and melodies, putting a new spin yet again on what Trivium can be.
“Paulo actually made about 80 percent of the lyrics and vocal melodies, which is something we hadn’t done before,” says guitarist/vocalist Matt Heafy. “That’s something we’d never done before. We wanted to make the best record we’ve ever done, and it didn’t matter who brought the ideas in. There were songs where Paulo or Corey [Beaulieau, lead guitar/backing vocals] brought in an entire song, or there are songs that were written by any two or three of us. ‘The Wretchedness Inside’ is a song I ghost-wrote for another band back in the Vengeance Falls cycle and the guys came to me and said ‘Hey we think we can change this and make it something better.’ ‘The Endless Night’ was something I wrote for a score for a friends’ personal training business that I rewrote as a Trivium song. There’s no method to the madness when it comes to what can become a Trivium song.”
The record was recorded at the beginning of the year over a mere two weeks at Hybrid Studios in Santa Ana, California with producer Josh Wilbur (Gojira, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Korn, Lamb of God), who mixed previous album Silence In The Snow. Wilbur joins a list of top metal producers like Nick Raskulinecz, Jason Suecof and Colin Richardson in the Trivium story. “What’s great about Josh is he’s definitely the most positive producer we’ve ever had,” Heafy says. “We’ve never had a producer before who was jumping up and down and excitedly singing along with every word while I was tracking things. And what I realised is, that I track much more convincingly angry-sounding vocals when things are going well and I’m in a really good mood.”
In contrast to Vengeance Falls and Silence In The Show, albums that were partially developed in the studio, the concept with Sin And The Sentence was to go in with everything good to go. “We’ve recognised for us over the years that the records that we consider our personal favourites are the ones that we spent the most time on with ourselves before getting in the studio with a producer.”
It’s also the first Trivium album to include new drummer Alex Bent, who only joined the band at the start of this year and was immediately thrown into touring and recording. “That was a big gamble that we took, when it was time to switch musicians again in the band,” says Heafy.
“I mean, we didn’t want to do it but it becomes a necessity for the survival of the band. I reached out to [producer/engineer] Mark Lewis, and I didn’t tell the band, ‘Who is the best guy that’s a fit for our band?’ Because Mark is the guy - he engineered The Crusade, he’s one of Corey’s closest friends - and the very first name that came back was Alex Bent. So I asked Mark to ask him to shoot two videos but not tell him who’s asking or where it’s coming from. He sent a video over to Mark of him playing ‘Until the World Goes Cold’, Mark sent it to us and then I showed the band guys and we knew he was the guy. So basically his trial was the video, we told him to learn material from all seven records, he flew down and nailed everything and so we said ‘What would you do with this material?’ and started playing him new stuff. It was a huge gamble that we took and we’re so happy that it worked out. Alex is amazing and his background of being a really technical, extreme drummer got us really excited. Trivium can get very chaotic and very technical and Alex can do all of that.”
The Sin And The Sentence by Trivium is out Friday October 20 via Roadrunner Records.