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Trivium - Ember To Inferno: Ab Initio Award winner

Ember To Inferno: Ab Initio
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 24 April 2017, 1:21 PM

World famous metal band TRIVIUM have gained a mass following over the last decade but their first album, “Ember To Inferno,” has remained out of print…until now.  The repackaged effort is now called “Ember to Inferno: Ab Initio,” and it is the original album with thirteen additional tracks.  These extra tracks are from their first three demos.  This is a pretty good package for old and new fans alike—it contains a lot of great music that newer fans probably don’t know about.  A lot of complaining has been made about their current sound so older fans will enjoy this too because it features the band as raw and heavy as they will probably ever get.

The first proper track, “Pillars of Serpents,” is crushing.   At the 1:46 mark we get a really cool mid- section, featuring a heavy break down/bridge complimented by Matt’s screams.  Anyone who doubts TRIVIUM’S energy and love for metal obviously hasn’t heard this song. Matt’s vocals are a scream that is caught somewhere between a shout, light Death growl, and the infamous Metalcore screamo yell but without really sounding like any of those.  Later efforts by the band would see him sticking more to a clean style; his cleans are represented on this album as well but they are not as frequent and definitely sound a little more raw.

The title track features an opening that is more melodic in the Gothenburg sense but also still sounds very thrashy and speedy.  Matt plays all the guitar on this album and he does an incredible job of writing/playing catchy, heavy riffs with a traditional feel.  The riffs from 2:25 onward make me want to slam my face thru a wall and when it comes to metal, that is about the highest compliment I can give a band.  The solo after the riffage is very well done, fast noodling but with a sense of purpose. TRIVIUM has been through numerous lineup changes over the years but the guys on this record are very tight and really give the album an extra backbone or two. Brent Young’s bass is both heavy and melodic; he shines on every song, especially during a guitar solo where he holds the song together even more than the rhythm guitar.  Travis Smith’s drumming is clean, crisp, clear, and a constant assault on the senses.  I love the sound of his double bass; a sound so heavy and consistent it sounds like a motor cycle idling in your head if you listen with headphones on.

As previously mentioned, the second disc is all old demos; you get what you would expect from a collection of demos.  Everything is under produced, raw, and no none is playing at the top of their game.  However, that is part of the charm.  This second collection of songs features a band that was hungry to succeed and knowing they did makes the listening experience all the better. All in all, any fan of TRIVIUM should pick this up but I think metal fans who don’t like the band already could find something to enjoy here as well.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Disc 1:

1. Inception: The Bleeding Skies
2. Pillars of Serpents
3. If I Could Collapse The Masses
4. Fugue (A Revelation)
5. Requiem
6. Ember To Inferno
7. Ashes
8. To Burn The Eye
9. Falling To Grey
10. My Hatred
11. When All Light Dies
12. A View Of Burning Empires

Disc 2:

1. Pain
2. Thrust
3. Lake of Fire
4. To Burn The Eye
5. Requiem
6. Fugue
7. My Hatred
8. The Storm
9. Sworn
10. Demon
11. Like Light To The Flies
12. Blinding Tears Will Break The Skies
13. The Deceived
Travis Smith – Drums
Brent Young – Bass
Matt Heafy – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Roadrunner Records


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