October 24, 2016 Trivium Pummel Irving Plaza, NYC 10-11-16 w/ Huntress & Sabaton
When the announcement of Trivium’s North American Silence in the Snow fall 2016 tour hit the web, fans of the Heavy Metal leaders were completely stoked. Add in support from Sweden’s Sabaton and California’s Huntress, there is mass Metal hysteria. With tour dates spanning across the country through September and October, many quickly sold out, so in lieu of such success, the European and U.K. tour dates were announced to run all the way through spring 2017. When asked to remark about the European dates, Frontman Matt Heafy states, “The UK was the first place to embrace Trivium on the planet, and Europe was the first home for Trivium playing internationally way back in 2003. It’s our honour to be able to complete the ‘Silence in The Snow’ album tour in the UK and Europe; we have had some of the most integral and historic moments of our career in both spots, and we look forward to celebrating our love of music with all of you. See you very soon!”
Taking this sort of enthusiasm to every continent and performance, the Silence in the Snow tour touched down in New York City’s own Irving Plaza on Tuesday, October 11th. From the start, the venue was packed, fans milling about in a sea of Sabaton, Huntress, and Trivium logos proudly displayed on their t-shirts as they prepared for the show ahead. An audience of mixed Metal lovers, excitement was felt from the moment opening act Huntress was set to take the stage. Coming together some seven years ago in Highland Park, California, Huntress is known to be referred to as Dark Metal, but mix a litany of styles ranging from Thrash to traditional Heavy Metal. Nonetheless, the band has always had a heavy sound and dark, occult themes in their music. Currently consisting of Vocalist Jill Janus, Lead Guitarist Blake Meahl, Bassist Eric Harris, Rhythm Guitarist Eli Santana, and Drummer Tyler Meahl, Huntress have pumped out three studio albums since 2012, including their most recent, 2015’s Static. Relatively new to some, they are quickly becoming a very well-known act on the scene.
As the lights lifted and the first chord of Huntress’ “Sorrow” rang out, the audience started cheering. “New York City!” called out Janus to the crowd, as the band played on, wasting no time, quickly going into the heavy “Flesh,” wicked “Spell Eater,” and “Zenith.” In her spiked shoulder pads, Janus called out to the eager audience, “We are Huntress! Pack your bongs, let’s smoke the galaxies together New York!” With that, Huntress played thrashy “Harsh Times on Planet Stoked” before taking a moment to chat with the audience. Here, Janus began to talk about Lemmy from Motorhead’s involvement in one of the band’s songs, claiming that he had written it for her to sing. When she said the title on the paper she received was “I Wanna Fuck You to Death,” Janus remarked that Lemmy was quite the romantic to the hooting and laughing audience. Without much ado, Huntress played the aforementioned “I Wanna Fuck You to Death” to the growing crowd before ending off the set with their powerful “Eight of Swords.” Thanking everyone one last time, the band left the stage, with Janus promising to meet some fans by the merchandise table thereafter. A killer Metal band all around, Huntress are prime for years of domination.
Moving along, Irving Plaza at this point was best described as congested. That said, everyone eagerly awaited the one and only Sabaton. Hailing from Halun, Sweden, Power Metal heavy-hitters Sabaton came to be in 1999 and have been battling their way to the top of the Heavy Metal food chain since. Well known as lyrically historical, their theme for majority of their music is war and battles throughout history. Having had many lineup changes, their current lineup is made up of Frontman/Vocalist Joakim Brodén, Bassist Pär Sundström, Guitarist Chris Rörland, Guitarist Tommy Johansson, as well as Drummer Hannes Van Dahl, who were ready to rock out their latest album, The Last Stand.
A chant broke out amongst the robust crowd with voices yelling, “SABATON! SABATON! SABATON!” Sure enough, quickly after, the music started to come from the low lit stage as the band walked on to ground-shaking applause. The heavy riff of “Ghost Division” began to pulse through Irving Plaza and the head-banging proceeded as Sabaton went into “Sparta.” Smiling widely, Broden raised his arms to the crowd; “Let us go to Scotland my friends!” His call to arms was met with roaring approval as Sabaton hammered away into “Blood of Bannockburn.”
Taking a moment to introduce their new drummer, Broden told Drummer Van Dahl to choose their next song. Choosing the one song that Broden claimed to hate the most, they played “Swedish Pagans,” then “Carolus Rex,” “40:1,” “Stalingrad,” “The Lost Battalion,” “To Hell and Back,” ending off with “Winged Hussars.” Overwhelmed by the incredible response from the crowd, the band continuously thanked them for the astounding outpour of love. Leaving the stage to the chant of “SABATON! SABATON!” the band waited to add suspense, and then emerged again to some zealous applause before concluding with the anthems “Night Witches” and “Primo Victoria.” Becoming more and more popular with each visit they make to the United States, Sabaton are a Metal Warriors who put on one hell of a show.
With the room now full of buzz waiting the headliner Trivium, the anticipation was plausible. Beginning their journey in Metal over fifteen years ago, Trivium has built a reputation as a leader of the genre. Still growing as musicians after seven studio albums, dozens of award nominations, three Metal awards won, and millions of records sold, 2015’s Silence in the Snow is one of their best works to date.
Known to delivery blistering live shows, Vocalist/Guitarist Matt Heafy, Guitarist Corey Beaulieu, Bassist Paolo Gregoletto, and Drummer Paul Wandtke awaited in the backdrop as Iron Maiden’s “Run for the Hills” blared from the stage. With everyone losing their minds and yelling the band’s name, they appeared and Heafy returned a shout with “Fuck yeah New York City!” Highly enthusiastic, he and the band began with fan-favorite “Strife,” then “Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation,” and “Forsake Not the Dream.” Taking a brief moment to allow everyone to catch their breathe, Heafy said, “What is up New York? How are we doing tonight?” Cutting through the cheers, and with his usual stage presence, Heafy soon after led the band into “Rise Above the Tides,” “Into the Mouth of Hell We March,” and newer song “Silence in the Snow.” Claiming that playing Irving Plaza had always been a dream of Trivium’s, the band profusely thanked the fans for making their dream happen, while also claiming that the New York City crowd had been the best one so far on the tour.
Moving forward like a freight train, they played their classics such as “Entrance of the Conflagration,” “Anthem (We are Fire),” and “Pillars of Serpents,” before “Until the World Goes Cold,” everyone’s body and heads moving around the floor. As the crowd surfers went wild and the pit opened up, Trivium upped the ante among the flashing stage lights as they blazed through “Down from the Sky,” “Built to Fall,” “Pull Harder on the Strings of your Martyr,” topping it all off with an incredible drum solo from Wandtke. Leaving the crowd starving for more, the lights stayed low as many screamed for an encore. When a pre-recording of “Capsizing the Sea” gently filled the air, suddenly Trivium re-entered the stage to a projection of skulls to play iconic fan-favorite “In Waves” to wrap up the assault.
Between the incredible efforts of Huntress, Sabaton, and Trivium, this was a show that really felt like it was composed of headlining bands from start to finish, with no openers at all. Exciting and electric, the Silence in the Snow tour in North America may be through, but it was an amazing start before the reconvene for the European/U.K. leg come February of 2017.Photo credit: Stephanie Pearl Photography