Trivium – Ember To Inferno: Ab Initio album review

Expanded return to the start of the Heafy saga with expanded Trivium reissue, reviewed here...

Trivium album cover

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If Trivium seemed a touch precocious when they exploded into our world with Ascendancy back in 2005, they should probably be forgiven.

A debut album that caused barely a ripple of interest when it emerged two years before the Floridians’ breakthrough, Ember To Inferno showcased a young band with heads full of possibilities, passion and a dash of supreme confidence. Admittedly, this lavish, expanded reissue does contain a fair amount of tentative filler, not least among the generous helping of previously unreleased bonus cuts, but the original album has stood the test of time extraordinarily well. Given that Matt Heafy was 17 when the likes of Pillars Of Serpents and Fugue (A Revelation) were recorded, his intuitive grasp of melodic death metal’s fundamental principles should have alerted more of us to the frontman’s vast potential; these are well-crafted songs, full of gleaming, post-Maiden hooks and moments of deft, syncopated precision. It’s also worth noting that Trivium always harnessed elements of heavy metal; listening to this newly enhanced first effort, with its spiralling lead breaks, epic riffing, knowingly traditional song structures and Heafy’s nascent but dogged bellow, the mixed response to Silence In The Snow seems misplaced. One for the diehards, perhaps, but a modern metal milestone nonetheless.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.