Trivium seem to have set a precedent, alternating thrilling records like 2005's Ascendancy with their patchier works like 2003's Ember To Inferno and 2006's The Crusade. Following this logic, Vengeance Falls should fall in the former category, and while it fails to scale the heights of their best work it is a mostly fine addition to their canon. Drawing together crunchy riffs, snarling vitriol, blistering shred-fests and stadium-sized choruses, it ticks all the boxes without just recycling ideas, and there is plenty to ensure their faithful have good reason to continue scratching their heroes’ name into their desks.
It helps that Trivium frontload the album with quality, the first three rabble-rousing tracks striking a perfect balance of the aforementioned elements. “Brave This Storm,” the title track and “Strife” all stand as state-of-the-art metallic anthems, the only downside being they set perhaps too high a standard to live up to. Still, the more plaintive tone that prefaces “At The End Of This War” stands as a nice counterpoint to its thrash-happy parts and burly breakdowns, and closer “No Hope For The Human Race” is a stirring affair. Even when they fail to quite deliver the good,s just about every track still wields aspects that make them worthwhile. The lively chorus and guitar solo of “To Believe” give the song the kick in the ass it needs; the more mournful parts and dynamic leads of mini-epic “Wake (The End Is Nigh)” elevate the otherwise flat song. Lingering in far bleaker lyrical territory than on any of their previous records makes for compelling listening, too, though there is an edge of hope—or maybe salvation—lurking intermittently behind the darkness.
At this stage in the game, it’s fair to say that Trivium have shown us what they’ve got, and it’s no surprise that there are no surprises. Still, that is no bad thing as long as they’re exerting a decent level of quality control. This is not the greatest music Trivium have ever recorded, but no one could accuse them of sullying their name with substandard chunder.