Trivium have returned to the UK playing much smaller venues than the ‘Deadmen & Dragons’ tour in January this year. Heading to Liverpool for the first time since 2006, Trivium played to a sold-out O2 Academy and delivered a masterclass in metal.
Orbit Culture were first up and admittedly I hadn’t heard too much about them. By the end of the set though they had me totally convinced. Filling their set with songs mostly from their latest album Descent, the Swedish death metal band powered through a thirty minute set. ‘Alienated’ was a standout track in their set with frantic drums and guitars sending the crowd into a frenzy.
Glasgow based Bleed From Within were next and my first thought was they are very much a Scottish Parkway Drive. With a classic metalcore sound they’re a combination of Parkway Drive and Trivium and felt perfect for this spot. With songs guaranteed to make you bounce and frontman Scott Kennedy’s demands for a ‘wall of death’ every couple of songs, it seemed like it could’ve been their own headline show.
Then the reason everyone was there. Trivium took to the stage without their usual ‘Run to the Hills’ intro and opted to use the ambient instrumental track ‘X’ that opens In The Court Of The Dragon before launching into the title track itself. This was the third Trivium show I’ve caught this year and they seem to just keep getting better and better.
Liverpool was the 201st show since releasing In The Court Of The Dragon yet the band still mixes the setlist up to keep everyone on their toes. The first of five songs from Shogun was ‘Down From The Sky’ which promoted Liverpool to kick into full voice. Fan favourites ‘Becoming the Dragon’ and ‘Strife’ made sure everyone was moving with a huge pit erupting in the middle of the small room.
Last time Trivium played in the UK in January ‘Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr’ was the closing song however they opted to throw it in early this time. With it being the 15th anniversary of Shogun, the band decided to weigh the setlist heavily towards that album for the UK shows which no one will complain about especially when they rip their way through ‘Kirisute Gomen’.
As Trivium are from Florida they used to playing shows in the heat, but this venue is always hot and Matt Heafy told the crowd that this was the hottest UK gig he’s ever played. Heat wasn’t stopping Trivium or the crowd though. ‘Entrance of the Conflagration’ brought a more thrash sound and caused heads across the room to bang for four minutes, before another Shogun song in ‘The Calamity’
The only song to make it into the setlist off The Sin and The Sentence’ was ‘The Heart From Your Hate’ where Heafy told the room to jump as it kicked in, which of course they did. Teasing the crowd throughout the night he said they were tied with Nottingham for the best crowd on the tour which was greeted with boos before he asks them to sing every line and guitar solo of the next song to overtake them.
‘A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation’ was the song to do that to and the crowd delivered. Always a crowd favourite, the crowd were in full voice from the intro riffs to the final chorus. Midway through the song a sea of fists hit the air along while chants of ‘hey’ ringing out from every corner of the room. If that didn’t beat Nottingham I’m not sure anything is going to.
Another instrumental tape marks the start if the last song and it was only ever going to be one. With the room dark except for a few blue lights on the stage, Matt Heafy makes his way back to the stage with the rest of the band following shortly after. Anyone who’s seen Trivium before knows what next as he tells everyone to get down on the floor in Slipknot ‘Spit It Out’ fashion. Then as he screams ‘In Waves’ the whole room erupts.
With 201 shows played and a few more left on a single album cycle, Trivium have proven themselves to be not only one of the hardest working bands in music but also one of the best live bands. There are no gimmicks with Trivium, they simply come out and tear you apart with an hour and a half of metal. With the band saying they are going on a break after this UK tour ends, I think we can all be excited for whatever it is they come back with and hope they return sooner rather than later.