Review: Trivium – In the Court of the Dragon

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Full disclosure here: I never grew up on Trivium, and had never really listened to them until this album. They were one of those bands that always just slid around in my periphery, though I often heard favorable things about them.

Having settled down into a new place and beginning to comb through all my promos that had piled up, I took the opportunity to finally give this band a try with their new offering and I was very intrigued. This record, at least, is a nice mix of melodeath and power metal, complete with an Elder Scrolls tie-in music video.

The album starts out in my wheelhouse already with an instrumental opening by Ihsahn, leading to the title track which I think may be my favorite just because it really exemplifies that power metal-tinged melodeath I’m talking about.

While nothing has blown me out of the water, every song is very solidly written and there are plenty of standout moments. Rather than presenting us with a collection of riffs they’ve squeezed together, this is the work of experienced songwriters.

There are also plenty of fun thrashy bits here and there, which also scratches an itch for me, with several parts reminding me a bit of the latest Anthrax album. There’s also a nice polished feel to the entire album, without anything feeling buried. The bass comes out at the right moments, the guitar is blended in well, and you can actually hear all the vocals.

I’ve ended up pleasantly surprised and I’m definitely going to check out the rest of their discography to see if there’s anything I’m missing out on. Favorite tracks of mine were the title track, “Like a Sword over Damocles,” “A Crisis of Revelation,” “No Way Back Just Through,” and “From Dawn to Decadence.”

Fans and people familiar with the band will probably know what they’re in for and how they think this compares to other work from the band. If like me you’ve managed to not listen to a single note for all these years, I encourage you to give this album a shot, and hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised like me.

4/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

In the Court of the Dragon is available now through Roadrunner Records.

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