The Florida-based decibel pushers continue their sonic metamorphosis from thrash-blasted metalcore to melody-driven (almost) trad-metal on Sin and the Sentence, their eighth full-length effort and first studio outing with touring drummer Alex Bent. If 2015's Silence in the Snow marked Trivium's deep dive into arena rock, then Sin and the Sentence is the free fall; a perfectly formed horned hand framed by a smoldering wall of pyrotechnics. It may have taken eight albums to get there, but the band has never sounded more confident, delivering a positively lethal 11-song set that strikes the perfect balance between unhinged and meticulously crafted. The addition of Bent, a powerhouse, hammer-of-the-gods-style kit man, and the newfound conviction of vocalist Matt Heafy, seem to have put a charge into the group. The riffage is meaner and leaner, and the songs themselves -- especially the singles "Heart from Your Hate" and the combustible title track -- feel both lived-in and visceral, with highlights arriving via the serpentine, gang-vocal-led "Beyond Oblivion" and the throat-mangling closer "Thrown Into the Fire." Produced with significant sonic heft by Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, All That Remains), Sin and the Sentence is the perfect distillation of Trivium's myriad attempts at bending the genre to their will. It's vintage Metallica by way of System of a Down, with enough Maiden-esque melodies percolating underneath to please even the most ardent old-school headbanger, but what's most impressive is that, despite all of the obvious influences, it finally sounds like them. The band's detractors jumped ship years ago, but for those who have stuck around for the long haul, Sin and the Sentence is here to pay some dividends.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger