Trivium @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

With As I Lay Dying/Caliban/Upon a Burning Body
21st October 2012
Review by Ollie Thomas
Photography by Graham Hilling
http://www.the-concrete-shell.com

It’s not too long since Trivium were on these shores, tearing the UK a new one on the Metal Hammer sponsored “Defenders of the Faith” tour and even less time since their stellar performance on the main stage of the Download festival. That hasn’t stopped them selling out tonight on what is set to be the last UK outing on the “In Waves” touring cycle, and boy have they brought a line-up with them to celebrate it in style. The first band chosen are the Texan deathcore quintet that seems to be on everyone’s lips.

Trivium
Trivium

Upon a Burning Body may have not spent too much time on British soil, but due to a solid performance at this year’s Download and pure word of mouth they are really starting to snowball and are a definite band to watch. Caliban are also here for what is a very rare appearance in England. Next are a band that need no introduction, credited by many as playing a key role in metalcore today and cited by many of the younger generation as an influence, As I Lay Dying fit this bill perfectly. Trivium definitely want to end this one with a bang.

The music’s blaring out on the PA and the booze is flowing freely, Upon a Burning Body should have taken the stage a long time before now. Finally some movement and the crowd goes wild. It’s not the Texans who have just walked on-stage though; it’s a rare early appearance from Trivium frontman, Matt Heafy. The cheers don’t last long though as he tells us that due to an issue with a broken down trailer on it’s way from Norwich with all their equipment, Caliban are unable to play tonight. Andreas Dörner, the Caliban frontman, shortly follows and confirms what Matt Heafy has just said. It’s a bitter blow to a line-up that had many metalcore fans drowning in drool. Despite the disappointment, as they say, the show must go on…

Upon a Burning Body
Upon a Burning Body

Upon a Burning Body (2.5/5) take to the stage suited and booted, strange attire for a deathcore band, but who’s to judge? They deliver a crushing and solid set on what later turns out to be borrowed equipment, it seems Caliban aren’t the only victims of the breakdown. They get the crowd warmed up and bruised but the performance is, for the most part, forgettable.

The room truly comes to life when As I Lay Dying (4/5) launch into Condemned before playing a set which spans most of their career, not a bad achievement for a supporting band.

They have enough fans here to pull off a killer set, and that’s exactly what they do bringing out latest single Cauterize as well as fan favourites The Sound of Truth, 94 Hours, Anodyne Sea, and alt-club classic Nothing Left.

As I Lay Dying
As I Lay Dying

AILD are tight and sounding great, they could easily be mistaken for a headlining band tonight!

As I Lay Dying setlist:
Condemned,
94 Hours,
Anodyne Sea,
A Greater Foundation,
Through Struggle,
Nothing Left,
Cauterize,
Confined,
Defender,
The Sound of Truth.

But they were about to be followed by Trivium (5/5) who already have the pits going when the opening notes of Capsizing the Seas ring out.

Trivium
Trivium

In Waves may have been knocked by the critics for it’s simplicity, but at times like this it shows it’s brilliance.
The song was written to be played live, it sets up any show on a high.
They carry that momentum straight into Ascendancy’s Like Light to the Flies. Trivium’s set will please all the fans here tonight as it touches on every album, including Entrance of the Conflagration for those who are “honest enough” to admit they own it.

As they power their way through a greatest hits set, briefly pausing for Matt to state repeatedly how the UK “made Trivium”, it’s clear they have come on leaps and bounds since they exploded onto the scene in 2005 with Ascendancy, and let’s not forget THAT Download performance.

Heafy may be taking on less of the vocal duties while his screaming sounds less strong as it did all those years ago, they have Corey Beaulieu ready to step into the fold (so much so he’s now credited with lead vocals on Ember to Inferno) and Paolo Gregoletto providing backing vocals for the clean sections. Nick Augusto replacing Travis Smith on the drums has also stepped their performance up a notch.

Trivium
Trivium

Clearly the only way for Trivium is up as they just improve every time they’re over here, and what’s more they look genuinely delighted to be in our presence. London shows are something of a second home for Trivium. Are they our generation’s Metallica? Time will tell, but they’re definitely taking a step in the right direction.

Trivium setlist:
Capsizing the Seas (intro),
In Waves,
Like Light to the Flies,
Rain,
Into the Mouth of Hell We March,
Down From the Sky,
Entrance of the Conflagration,
Black, The Decieved,
Watch the World Burn,
A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation,
Ember to Inferno,
Built to Fall, Dying in Your Arms,
Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr,
Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis,
Throes of Perdition.

 

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