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It's a demo, and it works as one - 75%

BlackMetal213, August 9th, 2017

Before releasing their debut album "Ember to Inferno" later in 2003, Trivium exploded into the world of heavy metal with their "Trivium EP", otherwise referred to as the "blue demo". This demo contains seven tracks, the first four of which were re-recorded for "Ember to Inferno". The latter three are exclusive to this demo. There really isn't much going on here in terms of super complex songwriting, and the band at this point were just getting themselves established. Regardless, this is a fairly solid demo, with the first half being the strongest.

Guitars are at the forefront of this recording. As with any other Trivium album, this is the driving force of the music. Every song features a cool solo and the riffing is extremely melodic in nature, which again, is no surprise. "To Burn the Eye" is the first track here and the longest, eclipsing the 7-minute mark. One of the songs that would be re-recorded for the full-length, this song contains a breakdown right before the solo that sounds absolutely destructive....on the full-length. Here, due to the thinner sound of the guitars, it sounds a bit flat. Not bad, just a bit flat. I think the two highlights of this demo are "Fugue" and "Requiem", two other songs that originated on this demo before being redone. I don't think they're done as nicely here but they still contain some of the finest riffs, though the solo in this version of "Fugue" is a bit different and I think is subpar in comparison. These songs have some of the highest soaring choruses on the demo. "My Hatred" is the fourth track that would end up being redone but here, I think it sounds a bit weak and Matt's vocals are beginning to sound somewhat tired to my ears.

By the time the second half of the demo commences with "The Storm", Matt's voice sounds fairly done in as far as the screams go. This song musically is a highlight, especially the intro, but because of the weakening vocals, it doesn't sound as powerful as it possibly could. Thankfully, this song has one of the finest solos on the entire demo. It definitely gives "Requiem" a run for its money. "Demon" closes this demo and is perhaps one of the most aggressive songs here, but by this point, the demo had become a chore for me to get through when I first gave it a listen.

This is definitely not a bad demo, and it's not the worst thing Trivium has ever done. Though about eight months later, the band would unleash "Ember to Inferno", and would drastically improve. The first four songs would be re-recorded and improved upon quite a bit but it's still nice to hear where the band was back in late 2002 and early 2003. One must keep in mind how young they were at the time, with Matt Heafy barely being 17 years old. This is only the spark that would eventually ignite a small ember into an inferno. It's a demo and it definitely works as one.

A sign of greatness... - 83%

TableofHELL, June 27th, 2008

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.