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Trivium. One of the most hated AND loved bands of the new millenium. The band who elitists hate because of their overly melodic tendencies and their constant comparison to Metallica, as well as evidence of similar riffs, but a band whom casual, younger metalheads enjoy for their hodgepodge of thrash, metalcore, progressive and power metal. A band that rose to greatness through hard work, dedication and songwriting that is far beyond the caliber of these guys' age. Frontman and only guitarist (at the time) Matt Heafy was only 16 at the time of the release of this EP/demo, and his riffwork and soloing on this piece are quite technical, to say the least. Even if one hates Trivium for their aspiration to be like other bands, they must be respected at least for their technical dexterity when it comes to riffing and soloing. Drummer Travis Smith makes himself heard well on this album, with his constant usage of the double bass pedal and fills that arent always technical, but always creative. Bassist Brent Young's contributions are few and far between. His basswork is audibly heard, due to Jason Suecof's superb production (you'd think this wasn't a demo at first listen), but he mainly follows the guitar and hardly makes a name for himself.
Onto the songs themselves....Opener "To Burn The Eye" is one of two epics on this short album release. There is a breakdown in the middle and a great prechorus riff, though it tends to drag on a bit. "Requiem" has an intro riff that sounds massively similar to In Flames (Heafy was listening to a LOT of In Flames around the time of this release, so his influences are really worn on his sleeve on this track), and "Fugue" is a bit speedier than the last two, with a great melodic chorus and a fast fingered solo. "My Hatred" has a pretty technical pre-verse riff in the beginning, that is quite creative and mind boggling, but "The Storm" is the true peak of this EP. A neo-classical guitar intro that sounds massively similar to the midsection of "Trust" by Megadeth leads into a speedy riff section with ominous riffs, the best chorus on the album and a quite lengthy solo that sounds improvised, yet rehearsed. People who think Trivium write only catchy verse/chorus/verse/chorus songs, take a listen of this one. "The Storm" is a bit more power metall-ish than the rest of the EP, the only exception being the vocals. The solo in the middle is the peak of the fretwork on hand here, and you have to question how Heafy could pull something like this off at such a young age, and "Demon", one of the earliest Trivium songs, is by far their most ominous sounding ever, with some very Slayer-ish riffs inserted, but with Trivium's own flare on things.
In closing, this EP is overlooked most of the time. Sure, it isn't quite at the level of greatness they'd eventually succumb to, and at the time, they were basically an unsigned struggling local band, but the songs on hand here proved without a shadow of a doubt, that these guys would eventually be signed to a big label and be one of the leaders of the NWOAHM movement.