Trivium – What the Dead Men Say

Trivium have had a colorful career. From blowing up in 2005 with their sophomore release Ascendancy to creating a widely beloved genre-defying masterpiece in Shogun, they’ve known various heights of acclaim. In Waves is also generally quite well-lived, but then things got a bit shakier. They went through various drummers, frontman Matt Heafy had problems with his voice, and some of their albums weren’t as widely appealing as their older work. To some, this might sound like the story of a band past their prime. That’s not necessarily true, as none of their albums in this period were bad per se, but the reception from the fans was more mixed. Every new album would get compared to heights of previous releases.

All of that changed in 2017; things took a turn. With the release of The Sin And The Sentence everything seemed to align and bring the band to new heights. They found a new drummer that elevated their sound in Alex Bent, they found a new sound that elevated their recent trajectory, and Matt’s Twitch streaming career took off, growing the band’s audience in new ways. Of course, with every major milestone album in a band’s career, one question lingers: What happens next?

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Drain – California Cursed

When did hardcore stop being fun? Not to start this review with a sweeping generalization, but it feels like the mainstream music press has been fawning over a wave of “edgy, “unique” hardcore for the sake of celebrating something different. I’m all about infusing adventurous songwriting into the hardcore and…

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Sepultura – Quadra

Quadra is Sepultura’s best album since Roots (1996). That might seem like a trite assessment, since the same has often been said about each of their albums since at least Kairos (2011), and has also arguably been true of all of their albums since Roorback (2003). Nevertheless, the fact remains…

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Xoth – Interdimensional Invocations

As a band, Xoth represent a specific challenge to review: it feels impossible to concoct the right combination of words that both accurately describes the band and makes them sound as appealing as I’d like. Metal runs into this problem more often than other genres, I think. As sounds become…

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Wizard Rifle – Self-titled

Even if you took a group of the most scholarly sludge punks and fed them a steady diet of Lightning Bolt, Neurosis, and Sonic Youth for years and years, it’s not likely they’d produce anything as unconventional as Wizard Rifle. Their tone and style is the connective tissue that convincingly…

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Into The Pit – Playlist Swap

Following our mailbag post last week, Pete and I thought we’d get further antiquated with a good old-fashioned Heavy Blog is Heavy playlist swap. We each put together a list of the songs that we thought best defined our personal thrash metal tastes and where we think the genre is…

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