When they exploded onto an unsuspecting scene, exuding talent and confidence in abundance, Trivium were immediately heralded as metal’s saviours following the release of sophomore album Ascendancy and that Download festival performance. Since then, a refreshing willingness to throw caution to the wind has scuppered their attempt reach such reputable heights, resulting in a discography that has confounded while also reaching thrilling heights. Here it is, ranked in order of greatness.
10. Ember To Inferno (2003)
Released when frontman Matt Heafy was just 17, the debut from the unknown Floridan quartet created a few ripples in the underground, but crucially piqued the interest of iconic metal label Roadrunner Records. Though it’s the weakest of the band’s albums, it has flourishes and hints of the heavyweight metal that was to come.
9. Vengeance Falls (2013)
Alarm bells rang when self-proclaimed fan David Draiman was summoned to the producer’s chair, while others hoped the Disturbed singer’s knack for writing arena-ready choruses might take Trivium to the next level. In the end, neither really materialised. Aside from the boisterous Strife and Brave This Storm, Vengeance Falls lacks the band’s cutting edge.
8. The Crusade (2006)
With the weight of an expectant metal world on their young shoulders, The Crusade seemed doomed to fail before the band hit the studio. While its predecessor offered a clinical amalgamation of metallic styles, the follow-up instead separates these elements into a mixed bag of stadium rock anthems, strident thrash, ballads and histrionic guitar duels, with its diversity both its main strength and biggest pitfall. Courageous but flawed.
7. Silence In The Snow (2015)
The band’s and biggest departure yet sees Trivium pay homage to Ronnie James Dio by bringing a classic metal sound bang up to date. Adapting to a lack of screams due to Matt Heafy blowing it his voice, the frontman sounds reborn on the likes of When The World Goes Cold. Though met with a lukewarm reception, the most exciting thing about Silence In The Snow was seeing the band laying down anthemic foundations that would soon be built upon.
6. The Sin And The Sentence (2017)
Such is the consistent quality of Trivium's finest quartet of releases that depending on the day they could occupy completely different positions on the podium. Taking the thrilling musicianship and inventive riffs from Shogun and having the confidence to persevere with the melodic strands of their previous two albums, The Sin And The Sentence is a perfect amalgamation of everything that's made Trivium one of the metal's treasured bands for over a decade.
5. In Waves (2011)
The band’s first album without founding drummer Travis Smith is a snarling, muscular beast with guitars tuned down, and breakdowns and extreme metal influences helping In Waves sound bigger and more devastating than anything the band have done before or since. The massive title-track, Dusk Dismantled and the razor-sharp hooks of Caustic Are The Ties That Bind are indispensable.
4. In The Court Of The Dragon (2021)
If their previous two records had pushed Trivium to strip their sound down to the bare essentials of heavy metal, In The Court of The Dragon was the sound of a band rapidly building back to the grandiose structures of their past. Far from being unwieldy, the record feels like a perfect amalgam of What The Dead Men Say/The Sin And The Sentence's direct, heavy metal bombast and the technically progressive inclinations of Shogun. Never the band to play it safe, the stylistic flourishes of Dragon feel like Trivium re-asserting themselves as one of modern metal's key players and [as of Vengeance at least] most reliable creative forces.
3. What The Dead Men Say
Where The Sin And The Sentence set things right by taking Trivium back to basics, What The Dead Men Say simply ripsped The title track sets the tone: riffs, riffs and more riffs; tight, muscular drum work; and enough hooks to snare Cthulhu. Despite the slight shift in the song-writing process – bassist Paolo Gregoletto contributed the lion’s share of the lyrics – there is absolutely no upending of balance or identity here. Quite the opposite: despite the album’s many layers, this is as taut and focused as Trivium have ever sounded.
2. Shogun (2008)
Though Ascendancy has the romantic backstory, Shogun matches it for songwriting and even trumps it on scope. As epic and adventurous as the ancient mythology of the storytelling, the band’s ambitious ideas are fully realised on the prog-laden mini-sagas of Kirisute Gomen – and the absurd crescendo of the closing title-track is arguably the band’s best moment to date.
1. Ascendancy (2005)
So much has already been written about Ascendancy’s impact, but even a decade on it still sounds like it could take on the world and smugly laugh atop its fallen adversary. When every song could be a single (even the B-sides are essential) and the likes of Light To The Flies and Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr are essential additions to any 00s playlist, it’s easy to see why the band were hailed as metal’s new heroes.