Trivium have been delighting metalheads with their dual guitar solos, vicious vocals, and pounding drums since 1999, and it seems, their popularity has only grown in Ireland. Kicking off their ‘Deadmen and Dragons’ tour on the island - a name combining the titles of the two albums released during the pandemic - What the Deadmen Say (2020) and In The Court of the Dragon (2022) - two nights in Dublin got the tour underway before their return to Belfast.
As the atmospheric 'The End of Everything' set the scene, Trivium arrived with an energetic blast, with the first notes of Ascendancy’s ‘Rain’ ringing out as the curtain dropped. Two glowing red eyed dragons flanked the stage as Matt Heafy, Corey Beaulieu, Paolo Gregoletto, and Alex Bent whipped up a fury. With the set remaining in the 'Ascendency' era with ‘Like Light to the Flies’, what was promised was nothing short of an epic night ahead.
“How are we doing tonight Belfast!” Heafy yelled, as he recalled Trivium’s first set in Belfast’s Spring and Airbrake in 2006, where the music video for ‘Rain’ was recorded. Revelling in the nostalgia, he continued; “you guys broke the barrier during the first song!” he revealed.
The heavy ‘Throes of Perdition’, from 2008’s 'Shogun', provided an opportunity for Heafy to pull tongue out faces to the rampant crowd alongside the intense guitars for ‘Like A Sword Over Damocles’. Not to be outdone, guitarist Beaulieu delivered a sweep picking masterclass, keeping in tight vocal harmony with Heafy and Gregoletto.
Decrying a rare sliver of silence, Heafy was rewarded with renditions of “Ole, Ole, Ole, Trivium, Trivium” as a devestatin ‘A Skyline’s Severance’, took the crowd back to 2011's 'In Waves' album. Heafy, eager to push the limits of an already amped crowd, coyly asked “Do you want some more old shite?”. A rather moot question, ‘The Deceived’ provided renewed vigour to the atmosphere with lightning-fast double kick, courtesy of Bent.
Returning to 'The Sin and the Sentence' album, the live debut of ‘The Revanchist’ enthralled, even with the slight vocal blip from Heafy which was barely noticed except for his own bemused admission. The recorded track ‘IX’ signalled the jump to 2020 with the albums punchy title track, ‘What the Dead Men Say’, providing a gruelling test of stamina for Bent with its unrelenting drums. ‘To The Rats’ brought us back to 2006 with The Crusade, followed by The Heart From Your Hate.
Although well into the set, the 10 minute long ‘Shogun’ provided an orchestrated display of metal mastery; from Heafy’s powerful vocals, to the crescendoing guitar solo from Beaulieu.
“Did everyone have a good time with Trivium tonight or what!” Heafy called with the night coming to an end, ahead of an atmospheric ‘Capsizing the Sea’, before the opening guttural scream of ‘In Waves’.
With such a strong beginning to the gig, it was only fitting to end the same way. If the crowd was beginning to tire, the iconic opening drums of Trivium’s breakthrough anthem, ‘Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr’, masked that. A nostalgic hit of Heafy’s growling vocals and Beaulieu’s ferocious solos, reminded the crowd of why we fell in love with Trivium and certainly why that love endures.
A frenetic, yet powerful overview of the twenty year evolution of one of the most prominent metal bands in recent history.
Check out our gallery from the show below. All photos by Warren Blair.
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