Trivium & SikTh in Manchester
A tasty billing, but did it live up to expectation?
Words: Phil Weller | Photos: Mike Ainscoe
With guitarist Graham Pinney absent and with new vocalist Joe Rosser still bedding in SikTh, a band which Trivium have been fans of since touring with them back in 2004, are a pale imitation of themselves tonight. Perhaps still hungover from Anthrax last night, the crowd feels subdued as their frantic, uncatagorisable but disappointingly blunt madness unfurled.
Backing tracks attempt to fill Pinney’s void – who pulled out of the tour for personal reasons – but they lacked the life and character of the real thing. Couple that with a mix that was sedated for opener Philistine Philosophies, where Rosser struggled to find the range Justin Hill made his own in the chorus. Sadly, the magic that the band has an abundance of was drained tonight.
There were plus points however. On closer Bland Street Bloom their avant garde rhythmic assault showed flashes of what the band are capable of. In its chorus Rosser was solid too, taking the reigns with a confidence and conviction in an otherwise lacklustre set.
Trivium then, had a night to salvage. Once hotly tipped to be their generation’s metal behemoths, although it may not have transpired in such a poetic way, they are consistently churning out new music and have erected their own fortress within the mythology of metal. While their set tonight is nothing spectacular, it is polished and professional.
The eyes of two six foot versions of the Snaggletooth like skull that adorns the cover of their latest album, Silence In The Snow, flashed to the hail-stoning double bass drum work of Alex Bent. In front of them, Matt Heafy and company fired out a set focused on their heavier material.
Yet it takes them a while to hit their stride. On fifth song Entrance of the Conflagration everything seems to shift up a gear or two, from their own intensity to the crowd’s reaction.
Mid-set, Heafy tells the room how they are close to becoming the best crowd of the tour and indeed, such a statement was met with feverish excitement, but for this writer, it felt contrived, transparent like bottled water. I’m sure you tell that to all the girls, Matt.
During Strife the ante rises again. The crowd sings its harmony in full voice and Paolo Gregoletto’s bass rattles along like God himself was shaking an enormous pack of Tic Tacs. A song with a typically Trivium chorus, it represents some of the band’s better material, its effective template then mirrored on Throes of Perdition and Until The World Goes Cold. As a trio they are robust stand out moments in a 16 song set that concludes with the simplistic but contagious In Waves.