Whenever the discussion of metal bands from Florida arises, you’ll have some familiar names come up like Obituary, Deicide, Morbid Angel and Iced Earth among a laundry list of others. But Trivium has long been amid the top of the list over the last 22 years. Albums like Ascendancy, The Crusade, and Shogun have held their own as some of the most memorable records within that time in the genre. Trivium’s tenth installment In the Court of the Dragon has taken their song writing, brutality and legacy to another level. This ten track juggernaut will surely be able to hang its hat as one of the bands finest and what better way to celebrate, then with a sold out show in your own backyard.
Driving down North Orange Ave in downtown Orlando, the sight of fans lined up around the corner to get into The Beacham was thrilling to see. Trivium incorporated the help of local talent Cold Steel and Bodybox to get the show going but at 9 o’clock, the stage would be all theirs. The intro track X plays like a score to a medieval movie as men are about to go into battle. But then our metal General Matt Heafy emerges from the darkness, immediately instructing the crowd to move up and to open the floor. And for good reason.
At the sound of the first note the floor explodes into anarchy as Trivium pulls the chain off In the Court of the Dragon. The song’s ferocity and crushing breakdowns made this not only a statement as the opening track to the album, but set the pace for the entire show here at The Beacham. Next we’ll shift gears slightly as Trivium rolls into the melodically virtuosic Catastrophist from 2020’s What the Dead Men Say.
With Corey, Paolo and Alex supplying the intensifying buildup, Matt tells the crowd “Ok Orlando. I want a giant circle pit and if you’re not in that circle, your fists are in the air and moving your bodies”. Just as they dive into the breakdown you could literally feel the air and energy coming from the stage. Which was almost enough motivation for me to find the nearest mosh pit and engage in circular chaos.
A break in between songs would give Heafy a chance to fully engage with the crowd for the first time tonight. He started off with a bit of good news when he mentions The Metal Tour of the Year they had been on him Hatebreed, Lamb of God and Megadeth. He said “We told Dave and we told Lamb of God that we need Florida dates next year” which to no surprise got a huge roar from the crowd.
Another little tidbit he gave the crowd following the end of Shadows & Stones is that this is the band’s first show in Orlando in 4 years! That would mark the headlining tour they did at House of Blues with Arch Enemy in 2017. That in itself made this show pretty special to be a part of.
Trivium would reach back to their legendary first album Ascendancy for the fan favorite Rain. As soon the first few notes leave the stage the floor opens up into mayhem, moving across the floor like a small tornado. The band would keep their foot on the gas as they blast through Would the Dead Men Say and right into the brutally magnificent Down from their 2008 record Shogun. With an intro playing in the background Matt Heafy checks in with the crowd to make sure they’re having a good time and judging by the eruption behind me, they’re ready to go!
He let everyone know “On this next one, all we need is your voices and your heads banging”. When the World Goes Cold has always had the perfect blend of vocal melodies and a great sounding crushing riff. When that heavy opening plays out it’s impossible not to head right along with the band as you feel the adrenaline boost hot you. Even with Matt’s request of the crowd, I don’t think the fans would have hesitated for a second to serenade the band at the almost operatic level that they did.
The next song in the set off of In the Court of the Dragon would be the closing track on the album The Phalanx. The album’s cover art is displayed on the monitors on the walls like fine art, while the stage is covered in a blanket of orange light. Every hit of Alex Bent’s kick drum ignites the strobe lights above the band like a flashing heart beat. You can feel the momentum building up with every passing bar as the guitars and drums become more and more intense.
The song’s compelling chorus is not only a shining example of Matt Heafy’s vocal range. But I think the crowd really showed Trivium their admiration for the track as they gave their own amazing sonant back. It was incredible to see the emotion from the fans throughout the performance which is nothing new at a Trivium show. But for music that is not even a week old really shows the fans embrace of this record.
The crowd’s cheers have yet to die down before Cory and Matt commence with one of Trivium’s most recognizable riffs with Strife. Fans chant along to the guitars in perfect harmony as if we were at a football match. But when Alex and Paolo jump in, their chants turn to a sea of clapping hands until the band burst into an all out musical assault while the stage lighting bursts around them.
I don’t think there was a single person not singing along on this one as you could hear the layers of additional vocalists assisting Matt. Their intense shouts of “HEY” during the songs climactic pre-solo build up are instigated by Matt as he joins in by throwing his fist in the air. Even with a stellar song selection up to this point, the deafening cheers and applause made it clear this was the fan favorite so far.
Heart of Your Hate would be more fuel added to the fans fire, as the entire floor from the stage to the lobby was jumping in constant motion. This would be another example of an amazing fan and band interaction as the crowd would chant the words right with Matt throughout the entire song. Musically the song’s addictive lead riff followed by that steamroller of a rhythm section would really make this one of the most memorable of the night.
Trivium would roll out one more heavy hitter off of their new album with Feast of Fire before the recognizable sounds of a distorted piano that ushers in the band’s iconic In Waves. Matt and Cory’s roars tee off the insanity as that ruthless breakdown sends everyone in the room into pandemonium. This collection of ferocious gang vocals, uplifting harmonies and tenacious breakdowns demanded everything from the crowd and that’s exactly what they got. Trivium unleashed everything they had left on the fans in attendance and without a doubt closed out this show on an incredibly high note
The anticipation for Trivium to play a show in their hometown has been high for a few years at this point, especially after the initial Metal Tour of the Year only brought them as close as West Palm. In the Court of the Dragon is is a huge accomplishment both musically and commercially making this one of the bands most celebrated releases to date. This show was the perfect catalyst to bring the band and their fans together to not only celebrate this extraordinary album, but to celebrate Trivium’s first home show in over 4 years in such an amazing way. Head to Trivium’s website to get your physical copies of In the Court of the Dragon or any major streaming service.