Trivium & Arch Enemy
While She Sleeps
Fit For An Autopsy
Tuesday October 31st
Inspiration completes a circle throughout time. When the new generation understands the traditions of the forefathers, it can properly ascend. However, this ritual doesn’t happen overnight. Time, patience, and endless work remain prerequisites—especially in music. Trivium—Matt Heafy [vocals, guitar], Corey Beaulieu [guitar] and Paolo Gregoletto [bass]—actually began building the blueprint for their seventh full-length album, Silence in the Snow [Roadrunner Records], back in 2007. They spent the next eight years diligently progressing and evolving, eventually becoming equipped with the wisdom to fully architect this body of work in 2015.
The genesis of the record’s title track dates back to a 2007 run supporting Heaven and Hell in Japan, marking the first step of this journey. “When I watched them live, it was something that really spoke to me, especially the song ‘Heaven and Hell’,” recalls Matt. “I’d never heard metal summarized so well like that. Afterwards, I came up with ‘Silence in the Snow.’ We loved the song, but it just didn’t fit with the music we were making at the time. The reason was, perhaps, we weren’t ready for it. We foreshadowed our destiny back then, and we’ve finally grown into the song. It required massive musical growth, and we’re ready now.”
“Every time we would do a record, someone would bring up ‘Silence in the Snow,” continues Paolo. “It was in the back of our minds, but it wasn’t the right time. It came out of that moment, seeing a classic band feel so modern and relevant with real passion. It fit with where we wanted to go today. We revisited the song, and it was the moment we got the clear cut vision for this album. It corralled all of our ideas together and sent us on the path. We wanted to hone in on making big metal anthems. Each track is distinct and matters with real dynamics. It’s everything we wanted to do.”
In order to achieve this goal, Trivium once again challenged themselves. They researched the bands who inspired their influences—Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth and Slayer —and immersed themselves in the work of Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, and Rainbow.
“We definitely looked back to a lot of classic records and used them for inspiration,” adds Paolo. “We knew we had to step up our game in the songwriting. We didn’t want to simply write music, but put together a cohesive collection from start-to-finish. That’s the real magic of those albums.”
Simultaneously, after an introduction by M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold, Matt began taking vocal lessons regularly with renowned coach Ron Anderson. The frontman expanded his already rigorous schedule with intense Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training as well as guitar lessons with everything fueling this creative evolution. In order to capture the desired sound, they enlisted Michael “Elvis” Baskette [Slash, Alter Bridge] for production and Mat Madiro for drums and hit the studio in early 2015.
“Being a metal head with a great sense of songwriting and production, Elvis was the perfect fit,” says Matt. “We’ve always had a balance of melody and technicality. He understood that and fostered its growth.”
Sonically, the band also broke the mold. Rather, than mixing extremely loud, they nodded to the sonic quality of records such as Back In Black where the mix is quieter. When you turn it up, it doesn’t become distorted. Josh Wilbur [Lamb of God, Gojira] got behind the board and helped them realize this.
“We wanted to make sure it wasn’t too loud and crushed like many modern records are,” Paolo goes on. “It had to be crystal clear and preserve the layers. That was the big thing we picked up from those classics. They sound so pristine. Making it so bold and big, the songs come across how they’re meant to, and you want to turn it up.”
Following the cinematic, orchestral opener “Snøfall” recorded by legendary Emperor visionary Ishahn, “Silence in the Snow” introduces the album with succinct searing guitar gallop and a sweeping refrain that’s equally engaging and entrancing.
“It’s a rally for positivity,” exclaims Matt. “It’s a battle cry. The lyrics didn’t change much since 2007, and this kicked everything off.”
At the same time, the first single “Until The World Goes Cold” begins with an ominous intro before adopting a hammering groove that subsides during the arena-size chorus.
“It’s about the sacrifice we make,” admits Matt. “Being in a band isn’t just about working at your craft and attempting to be the best you can be musically. At times, you have to be away from your loved ones, comforts, and the things that essentially make you who you are. When you’re striving for that dream, you can forget what you’re searching for and start to give up. You have to realign and continue fighting for what you love and believe in.”
“We wanted a song that was heavy at a slower pace,” says Paolo. “It sounds even bigger that way. It has a really strong theme.”
Meanwhile, “Pull Me From The Void” delivers a dose of vibrant vitriol through a twisting lead and expansive chant. “You should reach for impossible dreams and put everything into something you love,” Matt exclaims. “If you don’t, what’s the point? I got inspired to do this at 12-years-old when I saw Metallica’s Live Shit: Binge & Purge. I wanted to reach that level, and I’m not shying away from being honest about that.”
“Blind Leading The Blind” pairs a lyrical solo with a slamming crescendo before turning on the harmonious declaration, “Save yourself.”
“Sometimes, it seems like we keep perpetuating the ugliness that we have towards one another,” he says. “I’m always hoping for a positive outcome. I’m using the song as a call-to-action in order for people to question the world around them, question the way things are, question who they treat others, and not just be content to live in the norm and do as they’re told or expected. There are better ways to live life.”
Trivium laid the foundation to reach this point with 2005’s Ascendancy. Eventually, that seminal album would move over 500,000 copies worldwide. Throughout The Crusade  and Shogun , they would play alongside everybody from Black Sabbath to Iron Maiden and captivate crowds at Download Festival, OZZfest, and more. 2011’s In Waves marked their highest chart entry on the Billboard Top 200, landing at #13, hitting #1 on Hard Rock chart, and selling 22,000 units first-week. Vengeance Falls would also go Top 15 in 2013 as the group went on to play the main stage at 2014’s Mayhem Festival alongside Avenged Sevenfold and Korn. 2015 sees them co-headline with Tremonti, headline Bloodstock in Europe, and perform on the main stage at KNOTFEST.
In the end, Trivium arrive with an album that has a power to carry on that cycle of inspiration.
“Our band is about progression,” concludes Paolo. “It’s never been about a checklist to make a quintessential Trivium record. We’ve been talking about making this album for a while. It will lead us on to other things.”
“On a surface level, I hope fans can have a good time listening to this,” Matt leaves off. “For those who dig deeper, I hope they find solace in the music and they can be inspired to do something from the lyric. I said everything I wanted to say here. It’s all on the album.” — Rick Florino, July 2015
Time passes, the world changes, but some things remain constant and unassailable. Heavy metal has endured for more than four decades because its spirit is eternal, and few bands embody the intensity, integrity and lofty artistic ambitions of the genre with more dazzling aplomb than Arch Enemy. Formed in Sweden in the mid-90s by former Carcass/Carnage guitarist Michael Amott, this most explosive and proficient of modern metal bands have spent the last 20 years propagating an unerring creed of technical excellence, songwriting genius and thunderous, irresistible live performance, accruing a huge global fan base along the way. And now, in 2017, Arch Enemy are ready to rise again and climb ever further up the ladder toward pure metal supremacy.
“The band’s core musical philosophy hasn’t changed much since I started the band,” says Amott. “It’s still about creating intense heavy metal with extreme vocals and a lot of melody in the guitars. We’ve always loved writing and meticulously crafting the best songs possible, that’s the main motivation for us.”
When Arch Enemy released their debut album Black Earth in 1996, death metal was stagnating and in desperate need of a kick up the ass. Amott’s blueprint for the purest of metal strains proved an instant underground hit, both in Europe and Japan, and almost single-handedly resurrected death metal as a viable art form with mainstream potential. Signed to Century Media Records for 1998’s sophomore effort Stigmata, Arch Enemy marched purposefully towards a new millennium with a rapidly growing reputation. 1999’s Burning Bridges added to the band’s momentum, their razor-sharp blend of brutality and epic melody becoming more refined with each creative step. But it was in 2001, when original vocalist Johan Liiva stood aside and mercurial frontwoman Angela Gossow stepped in, that Arch Enemy truly took off.
Released in 2001 in Japan and nearly a year later in Europe, Wages Of Sin showcased a revitalised line-up and newfound gift for immortal anthems, Gossow’s feral roar adding many layers of charisma and power to Arch Enemy’s already monstrous sound. Swiftly dedicating themselves to a relentless touring schedule, the band’s upward trajectory continued throughout the first decade of the 21st century, with each successive album enhancing the band’s reputation and bringing legions of new fans to this resolute heavy metal campaign. Albums like 2003’s vicious Anthems Of Rebellion and 2011’s pitch-black and savage Khaos Legions ensured that Amott and his loyal henchmen – Gossow, drummer Daniel Erlandsson, bassist Sharlee D’Angelo and Michael’s guitarist sibling Christopher – remained firmly at the top of the extreme metal tree: respected veterans at the height of their powers.
“Surviving and thriving in the metal scene is not always easy,” Amott admits. “ Contrary to what I’ve seen a lot of people say, I feel the scene is actually quite trend driven and it’s impossible to be at the peak of your popularity all the time. In the past two decades we’ve seen a lot of trends and bands come and go. What I’ve always believed to be important is to stay true to yourself and the reasons why you started. Why you love music must always be at the forefront. I’m pretty good at keeping the 15-year-old Michael Amott alive in my heart!”
Always focused but impervious to other’s rules and expectations, Arch Enemy evolved once more in 2015 following the departure of Angela Gossow (now the band’s manager). Replacing one of the most iconic vocalists of the modern age was never going to be easy, but in the shape of former The Agonist frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz, Arch Enemy found the perfect candidate. Unveiled on the ferocious, anthem-laden triumph of 2014’s War Eternal, Alissa’s powerful identity and extraordinary vocal talents proved a natural and instantly welcomed fit. Further extensive touring cemented the new line-up’s thrilling efficacy, before one final line-up change – the arrival of legendary guitarist Jeff Loomis, formerly of Nevermore – completed the musical puzzle that Amott had been tinkering with for the best part of 20 years.
“Switching singers in 2014 was a big change of course,” Amott agrees. “Alissa brings a lot the band as a singer and a very visually strong performer but also she writes great lyrics and vocal patterns that are very different to mine, which makes for more variation in the Arch Enemy sound. The twin-guitar attack has always been a big part of our sound and now we have Jeff Loomis who’s played some face-melting leads on the new album!”
Recorded in 2017, the tenth Arch Enemy album will be unleashed later in 2017 and promises to be the ultimate statement of heavy metal supremacy from a band that are still growing in stature as the years fall away. Will To Power will be the first album the band have recorded with their current line-up and as Michael Amott explains, diehard fans will be both thrilled to hear their favourite band on top form and somewhat surprised by their latest creative explorations.
“The goal is always to raise the bar yet again and create an epic masterpiece!” he laughs. “I think the album has a great balance between traditional Arch Enemy and some new influences that come through here and there. The most surprising thing on this album is that we’ve written our first ever ballad. It’s still a very metal song, but there’s no way around the fact that it is a ballad and that might be quite controversial for a band like us, I guess. I’m excited to hear what our fans will think of that one, but I do feel that we can afford to spread our wings a bit on our tenth studio album!”
Once Will To Power hits the streets, Arch Enemy will do what they do best, hitting the road and taking their latest batch of heroic metal anthems to the people. Achieving longevity is the toughest challenge that faces any band, but Arch Enemy have long since established themselves as a permanent fixture on the global metal sceneand as standard bearers for upholding and celebrating of the heavy metal code. Right now, in 2017, no other band embodies the spirit of the genre with such flair and euphoric zeal. Long may their steel spirit prevail.
“It’s always been about creating the best songs we can make and whatever success we’ve had is the direct result of the music speaking to people and our relentless worldwide touring,” Michael grins. “We are happy with the fact that the band has had growth spurt these last couple of years and it’s exciting to put on a bigger and more complete live show for our fans. We obviously hope our fans will enjoy Will To Power and we’re looking forward to getting back out there and performing live again, with a whole bunch of killer new tunes up our sleeve!”
Formed by guitarist Michael Amott after his departure from the now legendary Carcass, ARCH ENEMY first garnered praise with the metal milestones Black Earth (1997), Stigmata (1998) and Burning Bridges (1999). These albums were propelled by flawlessly technical dual guitars and a previously unheard of mixture of melody and aggression, which helped them to quickly solidify their reputation as one of the genre’s elite.
However, ARCH ENEMY really began to develop their true potential once outstanding new vocalist Angela Gossow joined the fold on 2001/2002’s critically acclaimed Wages of Sin album (produced by Fredrik Nordström and mixed by Andy Sneap), marking the first time a band of this calibre and ferocity was fronted by a woman. The album was showered with universal praise, from front cover press in worldwide metal magazines to national daily newspapers alike. Naturally, Wages Of Sin proudly claimed a position in all the end-of-the-year “Best Of…” lists, whilst the metal underground had found a new band to champion, and one that would soon show on the live stage that it had even more to offer with Angela bringing a hitherto unseen level of growling and glamour to extreme metal.
It began with a sold-out UK-tour with Opeth and festival appearances across Europe. They then headed over to North America for a 6 week tour supporting Nile, followed 2 months later by another tour in the US, this time headlining with amongst others God Forbid supporting. By the end of 2002, ARCH ENEMY were back in Europe playing their first headlining club shows in several countries before heading back to Japan to take a major slot at the Beast Feast festival with Slayer and Motorhead. On the way back from Japan they briefly stopped on US soil for a number of West Coast headline shows before Christmas, and then took to the road once again for their debut headline shows in Scandinavia at the end of January 2003.
The band’s 2003 album, Anthems of Rebellion, was immediately hailed as a metal masterpiece. Produced and mixed by Andy Sneap, the record proved to be a landmark release for Century Media, as it delivered the label its then-highest first-week U.S. SoundScan sales ever, on the way to becoming one of its 10 best-selling albums of all time. Worldwide press raves continued to pour in – Anthems for example scored an unprecedented 5/5 in both Alternative Press and Kerrang!, Rock Hard Germany made it their “album of the month”, and Metal Hammer Germany stated it to be „melodic, grasping, delicately built but nevertheless a massive hit in your face.”
On the back of such a great response the band headed back out on the road and completed high-profile U.S. tours over the next year with Slayer, Hatebreed, Cradle Of Filth and Iron Maiden, a European Tour with Nevermore, a 2nd European headline tour as well as playing huge European festivals like Download, Rock Hard, Fields Of Rock, Graspop and Tuska, among others.
Late in 2004 ARCH ENEMY returned with the “Dead Eyes See No Future EP” – more than 30 minutes of highest quality metal, including exclusive live tracks recorded in Paris, three fantastic cover songs by Megadeth, Manowar and Carcass, as well as an enhanced version of their amazing “We Will Rise” video clip.
Now in 2005 we have Doomsday Machine and ARCH ENEMY have delivered without doubt the album of their career and are about to redefine the genre that they helped to create.
Founding guitarist and songwriter Michael Amott describes his thoughts on the group’s highly anticipated new album: “I think all great metal needs that killer mix of classic riffs and ripping solos, something that has been a bit of a dying art recently. We are doing our best to recreate that mix on this new album, and one thing I can guarantee is that there will be tons of guitar for fans to headbang to. All in all, I am really happy with the songs and I believe we have found the right balance of melody and brutality – the Arch Enemy trademark!”
The album artwork was created by German multimedia artist Joachim Luetke (Dimmu Borgir, Kreator). Michael Amott comments: “We are all extremely pleased with the artwork for the new album! I had a few ideas initially that I discussed with Joachim on the phone, and when he started sending over images we were seriously blown away — when you work with creative people of this calibre you just let them do what they do, so we just let him get on with it really! He’s a very productive guy, very sharp. He expanded on the Doomsday Machine concept and took it to some really interesting (albeit very dark!) places. It’s one of those great situations when the artwork totally works with the music.”