Trivium have had an inconsistent career, to say the least. Their evolution into the arena rock group we know today has been shaky, raising concerns that Trivium were angling for a mainstream audience at the expense of their sound. The Sin and the Sentence is a return to roots, jumping between '80s guitar god worship and Trivium's original metalcore stomp.
New drummer Alex Bent is an immediate highlight, serving up a storm of drum fills and double-bass blasts. The shouted vocals missing from the last two albums make a welcome return, as well. The frenzied title track is the sort of pit starter that made Trivium famous, while "Beyond Oblivion," "The Wretchedness Inside" and "Sever the Hand" have riffs and choruses that would set even the harshest critic's head banging.
Matt Heafy's singing voice sounds strained in places (possibly due to his vocal cord injury in 2012) and "The Heart From Your Hate" sounds like Shinedown bonus material (how much you like it may depend on how you read that statement), but there's a lot to like here. The Sin and the Sentence shows Trivium rediscovering the band we fell in love with all those years ago and, more importantly, that stadium gigs aren't worth compromising artistic vision for. (Roadrunner)