"Trivium Need Your Necks"
Nights in Bristol remained unrelenting in their ability to freeze fingers and send chills through bones, but if there was ever a music venue which could guarantee a white-hot serving of live Metal music, the O2 Academy was one of them.
The first act to step up to the microphone was none other than Austin Dickinson’s new rock project, As Lions. Watching the ex-frontman of Rise To Remain stride across the stage with his fellow musicians gave incentive for anticipation to boil but was only met with something slightly off-kilter.
Their gear seemed to be slightly muted and difficult to separate from the other instruments and Mr Dickinson’s violent stage movements seemed to knock his voice out of key here and there but still managed to be a fitting opening act with great potential to open the chaos to follow.
A rising, uninterruptible tremor made its existence known shortly after the departure of As Lions. Eventually it reached a magnitude which swiftly altered its intensity into the form of an ominously raw scream which changed the atmosphere of the night immediately. Heart of a Coward had never been an act to hold anything back, and tonight’s appearance was no exception whatsoever. Inciting a filth-dripping groove, they remained unrelenting in their ability to turn their fans into mash potato with the use of their maelstrom of meaty riffs and hard-hitting musical breaks.
Favourites such as “Shade” were also included which kept heads rocking and hands flying but a surprising lack of pitting with the exception of one constant swell in the centre of the venue floor. Mr Graham’s skill between his singing and screaming technique seemed to overweigh the performance and showed the frontman’s true talent for motivating mayhem.
Trivium’s signature white skulls adorned the stage walls with a raised stone set of steps flowing out below them and a twin bass drum set sitting neatly at the plateau of it all, aching to be beaten within an inch of its skin.
Eventually, prayers were answered and along with their excellent stage production, came the famous four-piece who all happened to be wearing their own merchandise (which was met with a division of hilarity and distain). A haunting illumination of the skulls hollow eyes led into “Silence In The Snow”, with spectators already raising their horns to show respect for the sixteen year old metal band.
The throng of the main floor was near impenetrable, with limbs and various forms of clothing flying left right and centre as the Floridians ploughed through their seven albums worth of material. ‘Ascendancy’ tracks such as “Rain” and “Like Light To The Flies” brought back bruise-battered memories which encouraged Mr Heafy to tell his fans, “At no point are you allowed to be quiet, polite or shot”. His tenacity was admirable but it was plain as day certain members of the public were not interested in playing along.
There was much encouragement to follow the lyrics of “The Anthem”, but those situated in the balcony sections above seemed somewhat disconnected from the evening, observing with blank faces and half-closed eye lids. Regardless however, Trivium pressed on and kept those interested, riveted with reminiscent tales of their exploits through the United Kingdom and how they preferred the British enthusiasm to the reception previously given in the states.
Corey and Paolo began their excessive extermination of all things pure and innocent by unmercifully turning up the heat with ‘Shogun’ tracks such as “Kirisute Gomen” and “Insurrection” which quickly tenderised the majority of the swarm.
Leading out on ‘Silence In The Snow’ material, (as well as re-visiting ‘Ascendancy’ for the ending track “Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr”) Mr Wandtke relentlessly proved his worth as the groups new drummer with an impressive solo which including fancy stick work, a gnarly head band and a flurry of hard hitting beats that left thousands of eyes staring in awe of his talent.
Two unexpected surprises for the evening included “Requiem” being added to their set list after a seven year absence and a rather unfortunate event during “In Waves”, where a enthusiastic fan was dropped on his head by the young fans at the front of the stage shortly after his poor attempt of a crowd surf. The song abruptly came to a halt as the heroic front man leapt into the photography pit to help as they heaved what was left of the fan back on to his feet, before the Mr Heafy let out over the microphone, “You’re supposed to CATCH the crowd surfer!”
Although it may have been unfortunate for those to witness Mr Heafy’s vocals deteriorate progressively over the course of the night, it was a commendable attempt throughout and the general atmosphere of the show must have left the musicians reveling in its undeniable success.