Trivium often say they were born in the USA, but adopted and nurtured by the UK. The 11am main stage set they played at Download back in 2005 kicked the door open for all the big things to come in their career, and they never fail to restate their gratitude to the adoring UK audience by gigging here as often as possible. On Saturday 21st April, a triumphant show at the O2 Brixton Academy saw their latest Europe+UK tour come to a close.
Before coming out on stage, Trivium used the occasion to showcase new talent on the metal scene. Young British hopes Venom Prison capably mixed death metal and hardcore, while US outfit Power Trip proved there is still room for old-school thrash on the big stages. Playing just before the headliner, Code Orange proved their reputation as an absolutely insane act to see live, with all band members except the drummer virtually running a 5k whilst on stage. A merciless set consisting of the highlights from their past two albums plus new track ‘Only One Way’ were laid out as a manifesto for the case of why Code Orange are rightfully regarded as the next big thing in extreme music. The evening was a little soured by support acts having to stop several times because of people being injured in the pit, but luckily things calmed down soon and there was no disturbance for the rest of the night.
Soon it was time for the main ordeal. Off the back of an inspired new album, Trivium had geared up to close the European tour with a memorable show. The self-titled album opener ‘The Sin and the Sentence’ gave early indication that we were witnessing the American quartet at the top of their live game. Prone to accusations of shaky live performances in the past, Matt Heafy and his comrades were impeccable that night, hammering out intricate dual guitar solos and triple vocal harmonies with enviable aplomb. Alongside the longstanding trio of Matt, Corey and Paolo was the latest in a changing series of drummers – Alex Bent, who handled with ease the thundering blastbeats and shattering stomps he was tasked with recreating. His participation in The Sin and The Sentence is credited as the source of fresh inspiration, and his live playing provided similarly unshakeable support for his bandmates.
The set was a comprehensive walk through the high points of Trivium’s catalogue, with a heavy emphasis on their latest offering. Playing six songs from their 2017 opus, the fiery reception was evidence that the record hit the nail on the head – from the catchy jump-along chorus of ‘The Heart From Your Hate’ to the gut-punching breakdown of ‘Beyond Oblivion’, the new songs flaunted both complexity and earworm credentials, showing every intention to become mainstays of Trivium’s future sets. Of course we could not go by without the obligatory cuts that made them popular in the first instance. Modern metal classics such as ‘Like Light to Flies’ and ‘Pull Harder On the Strings of Your Martyr’ kept the crowd in the running for the impromptu audience contest that Matt Heafy was holding by comparing Brixton’s enthusiasm to the crowds in Manchester and Paris. After much contestation, that crown was bestowed upon the London congregation. Fan favourite ‘In Waves’ provided a set closer to squeeze the last bit of energy from all gathered, leaving us just enough to shower Trivium with applause as they left the stage.
Supported by a who’s who of the future stars of metal, Trivium delivered an exhilarating performance during one of their biggest ever UK shows at the O2 Brixton Academy. With amazing live chops and brilliant material to back them, Trivium are close to becoming a headline arena-act with none of the compromising and negative connotations this term usually brings.
P.S. As with all dates on this tour, the concert was captured and livestreamed on frontman Matt Heafy’s Twitch channel. You can relive the experience from the Brixton Academy here.
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