The past few years have seen Floridian metal outfit Trivium change drummers more frequently than a bass player changes strings. On their eighth album, The Sin and the Sentence, Trivium introduces their fans to the group’s new drummer Alex Bent, who was all of six years old when the band was first formed. Despite a slightly rocky start with the record’s titular opening track – which can be blamed on the song’s somewhat clunky composition, with some transitions and progressions failing to mesh – Bent’s drumming is consistently pleasing across the album, with the record’s production really allowing his work to shine.
While some fans will be wondering whether Trivium have found a match in Bent, others will be welcoming a return of front-man Matt Heafy’s screams and growls after their absence from 2015’s Silence in the Snow following his blowing his voice in 2014, although these are used judiciously and not so often as to dissuade those who dislike that style of vocal delivery. From a structural standpoint, Beyond Oblivion is almost a contemporary pop song undergoing a bout of ‘roid rage as it is lyrically all chorus, a trend that crops up repeatedly through The Sin and the Sentence.
Betrayer sees Heafy’s baritone applied well to a simple, yet effective, vocal melody and variation in melody and pitch are applied to the song’s repeated motifs, maintaining interest. Aggression is immediately evident on The Wretchedness Inside, although a strong groove and excellent grinding rhythm can’t prevent the sense that the song is allowed to run for too long. Beauty in the Sorrow feels a bit alt-rock to start with before taking a thrashy turn, and for seven minutes The Revanchist explores religious and political corruption and manipulation. In spite of the occasional misstep, The Sin and the Sentence is a solid record from a rejuvenated Trivium.