They Will Be Done
2208 Elliston Place
Nashville, TN, 37203
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
With their fifth full-length album, In Waves, Trivium make a crucial statement.
It's a statement about writing their own rules about what it means to be a contemporary metal band. It's a statement that encompasses boundary-defying music, moods, movement, and visuals. It's a statement that's emblematic of their evolution. It's a statement that's going to impact anyone open to it.
While on the road in 2009, the first rumblings of In Waves began. Trivium vocalist and guitarist Matt Heafy had already started pondering the direction the band would take for their fifth offering. So far, they'd excelled at the standard hallmarks of the genre, and he wanted to do something new.
Each one of their albums—Ascendancy (2005), The Crusade (2006), and Shogun (2008)—garnered unanimous critical and fan acclaim. Ascendancy cemented the band's place in the metal-verse, selling over half-a-million copies worldwide.
Shogun debuted at #23 on the Billboard Top 200 and in the top 100 in 18 other countries. All over the globe, they rose to the ranks of metal elite, sharing the stage with everyone from Iron Maiden and Slipknot and dominating festivals such as Download, Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and OZZfest. They'd done everything the way that a metal band is supposed to. However, even with all of this success, Heafy and his cohorts guitarist Corey Beaulieu, bassist Paolo Gregoletto, and drummer Nick Augusto had gotten frustrated with the state of metal and yearned to break out.
"In my opinion, this album really was a response to what we've ever done as a band and everything we're seeing in contemporary music," declares Heafy. " We want to take metal a step further. We're not going to tell anyone what In Waves means. We want to put imagination and creativity back in the mind of the listener."
Trivium let the music do the talking this time around. The title track and first single hinges on a pummeling polyrhythmic guitar groove that breaks into one of the band's most infectious choruses just before a haunting guitar melody sails off into the distance. Rather than simply modifying their sound, they expanded it with elegant sonic textures and crushingly calculated chaos. The technical prowess is tempered by a melodic sensibility often unexplored by bands in this genre.
About the song, Gregoletto explains, "To me, the 'In Waves' riff is what anger and hopelessness I felt would sound like if emoted musically. It was the first riff I wrote after we got off the road for Shogun, and it's inspirationally somewhere in between the technicality of Meshuggah and the straightforward groove of Sepultura, but it channels a new intensity. After that song, we weren't afraid to push ourselves out of familiar territory anymore."
"It was the turning point for the music," Heafy reveals. "It's got the simplest chorus we've ever had, and it meant something different to each of us. There's minimalist spin."
However, that simplicity breeds complexity as each song takes on a life of its own. "Inception of the End" drops from a speedy thrash air raid into an anthemic arena-filling refrain, while vocal harmonies climb alongside schizophrenic screams on "Watch the World Burn." "Of All These Yesterdays" takes flight on a propulsive hum and an off-kilter solo. Everything culminates during "Leaving This World Behind," which pairs a classically influenced acoustic guitar with a chilling scream and an orchestral, electronic undercurrent. "Built to Fall" shatters an off-time riff with a hyper-charged hook that sees Heafy channeling a new charisma.
The entire album moves and shifts like one fluid entity. Heafy adds, "There was a conscious effort to tie everything together. Since we pulled back on so much of the musical complexity, it was about the song and we were able to connect on a basic level. It wasn't about trying to insert another big word in the lyrics or another solo. We weren't worried about showing how technical or brutal we could sound. It was about making something great. When I simplified the lyrics, they were able to be translated into multiple definitions, expanding the album to a multi-purposed work of art."
In order to paint this aural pastiche, the band retreated to Paint It Black Studios in Altamonte Springs, FL with production triumvirate Colin Richardson [Machine Head, Bullet for My Valentine], Martyn "Ginge" Ford and Carl Bown in early 2011. The band had already conceived the vision for the album over two years of writing and volleying visual concepts around, so recording allowed the band to continue to experiment. Surprisingly, Heafy didn't turn to his iPod for inspiration though.
"On this record, my influences weren't music," he explains. "My influences were film and directors like David Lynch, Lars Von Trier, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Christopher Nolan. It was also the idea of modern art. I used to not get modern art and museums. I went to The Louvre four years ago and it got me into classical art. Then I started getting into modern art. I like modern art because it completely disregards all of the pre-set rules. Contemporary art can be anything. There is no right or wrong. That encouraged me on In Waves. We made the music we wanted to make."
In order to keep pushing the envelope, Trivium experimented with a myriad of sounds and textures, employing everything from cardboard tubes, fire extinguishers, napkins, and out-of-tune pianos to make sounds. Working with new drummer Nick Augusto in the studio also helped facilitate the process. Beaulieu exclaims, "Nick's a fantastic drummer, and he soaked everything up really quickly. We moved at such a fast pace together and we were able to accomplish a lot more in a short amount of time. It was a very creative, fast-moving, and enjoyable experience. Having that positive environment with Nick made it a lot more fun and it made the songs better."
However, the songs will ultimately continue to get better as their vision comes into clearer focus. Heafy sums it up best. "If a CD is like the soundtrack to a movie, In Waves is the entire film. It's everything. It's the soundtrack, the visuals, and the packaging. It's a full-on visual experience rather than being the standard format. The whole purpose of art is to inspire creativity and other art. No one made the album we wanted to hear yet so we made it ourselves. It's time to take metal to another place and bring in new people."
DevilDriver tear their way through heavy metal again with Beast, the band's fifth album for Roadrunner Records, which is an exorcism of animalistic, primal hooks, death metal percussion and propulsive thrashing. While many bands in the modern era are already withering away by their second album and have shriveled up and died by their third, DevilDriver have proven to mutate, growing stronger, deadlier and more immortal with each successive release. Beast is living, firebreathing proof of that unassailable fact.
DevilDriver—Dez Fafara (Vocals), John Boecklin (Drums), Jeff Kendrick (Guitar), Mike Spreitzer (Guitar), Jon Miller (Bass)—have awakened something dark, deadly and dangerous. They've brought Beast to life for record number
five. With Beast, DevilDriver ventured into new territory: the grooves are catchier than ever, but there's an intricacy and taut technicality to them, representative of an angrier musical monster
Beast comes a mere two years after the band's incredibly successful Pray for Villains, which debuted at number 35 on the Billboard Top 200. Villains even surpassing first-week sales of their critically acclaimed 2007 outing, The Last Kind Words and 2005's The Fury of Our Maker's Hand. It's been a constant uptick for the Southern California quintet since they first blasted a hole through the zeitgeist in 2003 with their pivotal self-titled debut.
DevilDriver continue breaking the mold and busting heads in the studio and on stage. Who can forget their now legendary appearance at Download 2007, which arguably generated the biggest circle pit in history? Or any other live show they've played for that matter? Or any of the explosive anthems they've released to radio or video? Nevertheless, everything that has come before merely served as a prelude to the birth of Beast.
"It's another level," Fafara says of his band's latest offering, insisting that the band isn't tethered to any style, genre or self-imposed limitations. "We didn't simply re-issue a sound we found that worked, which most bands will do especially on their fifth, sixth or seventh record. They'll lay on their laurels and stick to what they've done. We're not looking at what anyone around us is doing. Since we're not paying attention to any of that, we were able to find unique music within ourselves. We tried to break some boundaries and stretch the genre open. We keep redefining ourselves."
Most bands don't sound this fierce and fiery on record number one and most don't have the stamina to retain this burst of sound and fury by a fifth full-length. However, DevilDriver aren't "most bands"; they burst at the seams with a violent
energy that teeters between the hyper-charged assault of "Hardened" and the punked-out fire of "Bring the Fight (To the Floor.)"
Fafara goes on to say that "Everyone came full circle on this album. They're all playing their asses off. This is something where I put myself to the test. We've taken a complete left turn by really trying to install groove and cadence. You hear weird, odd tempos, and we're taking little slices of the map out and putting in groove. For me, there's a lot of punk rock influence too. It's a crazy dichotomy of music."
The musical prowess of the band members is becoming more evident beyond the metal world, as Spreitzer, Kendrick and Miller will all release signature ESP guitars sometime next year. Miller is also only the third bassist in the history of the
company to have his own signature bass, which is a testament to his fortification of DevilDriver's rhythmic backbone. Boecklin has also been prominently featured in all drum magazines, namely Modern Drummer and DRUM!, as his kit work continues to turn heads.
DevilDriver conjure genuine chaos and make it beautifully brutal with the dichotomy that Fafara spoke of. For Fafara, the title sums up the band's mindset. "The record title Beast doesn't just explain the music. It really has to do with us and what we've become. The touring machine that we are is Beast. As friends, we're Beast. That describes us perfectly. The last 24 months has really shown us who we are as individuals and as a band. After everything we've gone through as people and as a band, it's totally appropriate."
That touring machine will commence in the immediate wake of the album's February 22, 2011 release. Be prepared to hear "Talons Out (Teeth Sharpened)" being screamed back
to DevilDriver at festivals worldwide by fans. On songs like "Shitlist" and "You Make Me Sick (Sacred Secrets,)" Fafara and Co. go right for the jugular musically and lyrically.
"It's a sincere, pissed-off street record," reveals the singer. "It's got straight-to-your-heart lyrics. I jumped outside of myself on Pray for Villains and wrote stories. On this one, I came back to who I was. It was an intense time, and this captures that intensity. It's the guy who walks through shit the best that eventually starts hovering over the top and he wins. Some people will lock themselves in a dark room and wallow because the world is crumbling. I do the opposite. I start sharpening my teeth and my nails. I start looking with an electric fucking glance and moving through life. That's what this album is about—the daily fight that is life."
Producer Mark Lewis [All That Remains, Trivium] encouraged the band to continue to fighting harder. After an intense series of writing sessions in early 2010, DevilDriver recorded with Lewis at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, TX. Fafara and Lewis
finished vocals together in San Diego at the home studio of Tim Lambesis [As I Lay Dying]. Dez continues, "Working with Mark Lewis was a great help this time because he envisioned where we were all going with us. He wanted us to step out of the box, and together we did."
Stepping out of the box lead to "Dead to Rights," which spills blood with every note, building an infectious refrain within the framework of pummeling polyrhythmic madness. "Talons Out (Teeth Sharpened)" is an anthemic war cry that drops from shrieking verses into double bass terror, while "Blur" spits punk grit into extreme metal posturing. This is one Beast that cannot and will not be contained.
In the end, Beast is as alive as anything DevilDriver has done up to this point because of the devotion of the members.
Fafara concludes, "These five souls make this band what it is. It lies in the salt and pepper from everyone. What's most important is our fans get delivered the kind of music, stage show and energy that they're expecting from us. Because of all the time and personal sacrifice, we are a Beast. The pleasure is that we're all together as friends still. Nothing can stop DevilDriver."
This Beast is alive and won't ever die. You have been warned…