Music

Trivium (w/ Power Trip, Venom Prison) @ L’Usine (Geneva, Switzerland) on April 10, 2018 [Show Review w/ Photos]

This is the tour that everyone has been talking about! Florida metal giants Trivium just hit Geneva, Switzerland’s L’Usine with support from both Power Trip and Venom Prison.

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This is the tour that everyone has been talking about: Florida metal giants Trivium take three of the most exciting heavy bands of the moment on tour with them: Power Trip (thrash), Venom Prison (death metal), and for the UK leg, Code Orange (hardcore). This diverse line-up provides a fascinating cross-section of metal’s present and future. But as the European leg of the tour hit Geneva tonight, how would Trivium’s die-hard fans react to their more extreme support bands, and vice versa?

Tonight was my first time seeing Venom Prison, the UK death metallers who have enjoyed a meteoric rise since the release of their first album Animus in late 2016. It’s not easy to open at 7.30pm on a Tuesday, particularly to a crowd who did not necessarily come out for ultra-heavy death metal. But Venom Prison performed a devastating set which quickly brought the audience forward, and confirmed beyond doubt why there has been so much hype about this band. Larissa Stupar is a mesmerising frontwoman; her voice is a true musical instrument, impossibly aggressive but with many depths of light and shade. Her hardcore roots are evident in her physical performance, in which the contorted moves and postures never feel contrived but arise naturally as an extension of the music. Larissa’s charisma does not, however, take away from the rest of the band’s performance; they perform as one tight unit. There’s a definite hint of Cannibal Corpse in the snarling guitar tones, but again there are many depths and layers to discover to Venom Prison’s sound, and the riffs are highly original.

Check out Venom Prison’s video for the single “Corrode the Black Sun” below.


Beginning with “Abysmal Agony”, their set included most of the tracks from Animus, along with “Babylon The Whore” and “The Primal Chaos” from their 2015 EP. Lyrics are political, touching on rape culture, conflict and the environment, but what I took most from tonight was the high quality of Venom Prison’s music, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. Geneva was perhaps not their most energetic crowd ever, but they undoubtedly won over a raft of new fans tonight.

I last saw Power Trip in this very venue a year ago when they supported Napalm Death, and since then the Texan thrashers have also had a dazzling rise to prominence. Their hugely enjoyable brand of hardcore-infused thrash has captured the metal imagination, with sophomore album Nightmare Logic appearing at the top of just about every metal journalist’s “Best of 2017” list (including mine). They were on top form tonight; their infectious chugging thrash riffs combined with frontman Riley’s hardcore-style performance a winning combination. Blake Ibanez’s squealing solos were note perfect, and bassist Chris Whetzel – who won my “facial hair of the night” competition amidst a strong field – looked as if he was having the time of his life. Musical highlights of the set were Power Trip’s best-known tracks “Executioner’s Tax” and “Nightmare Logic”, but the whole thing was effortlessly catchy; this band bring an optimism and fun-factor to their aggressive political messages. As with Venom Prison, this performance will undoubtedly have won Power Trip plenty of new young fans tonight.

Watch Power Trip’s official “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of The Axe)” video here.


And finally to headliners Trivium, a huge name and one of the few metal bands that attract non-metal listeners. Unlike most of the die-hard Trivium fans there tonight, I was in attendance more for the extreme opening acts; however I expected nothing less than the utmost professionalism from Trivium and was surprised at how much I enjoyed their set. This was in no small measure down to frontman Matt Heafy’s skill at audience engagement. His signature moves – in particular his “sticking his tongue out” gesture – were there in abundance and he frequently challenged the crowd to beat Barcelona and Warsaw by becoming the best audience of the tour. Whether us Genevans achieved that tonight is unclear, but this was certainly the most jumping I have ever seen L’Usine.

I was surprised at the heaviness of Trivium’s live performance; my favourite parts are their shuddering syncopated riffs and blastbeat sections, and these were magnificently tight. As expected, the drumming (with new member Alex Bent) and sweet-toned guitar solos were exceptional, and how bassist Paolo Grigoletto manages to play while bouncing that high in the air I don’t know. Trivium’s softer choruses are not for me, but there’s no denying their beauty and catchiness, and best track “Beyond Oblivion” had me resolved to check out their albums properly. With sixteen songs (six from the new album) this was a very long set, and I had to wait until the final encore for the track I wanted to hear most, “In Waves”. My little band does a mean cover of this Trivium classic anthem as our set opener, although I’ll have to admit that Corey Beaulieu probably has a “slight” edge on me riffing-wise. There’s clearly a mutual admiration between the bands on this tour, and it was nice to see members of Venom Prison jumping up and down with the crowd during Trivium’s encore.

A fascinating blend of metal tonight, in which two extreme metal bands won some Trivium fans, and Trivium certainly gained a new fan in me. You can check out this line-up, as well as Code Orange, on the UK leg of the tour beginning on April 16th, after which both Trivium and Power Trip will be heading over to tour North America.

Trivium’s Setlist:

(Run to the Hills)
01. The Sin and the Sentence
02. Throes of Perdition
03. Betrayer
04. Ascendancy
05. Sever The Hand
06. Inception of The End
07. Until The World Goes Cold
08. Becoming The Dragon
09. Thrown Into The Fire
10. Strife
11. Caustic Are The Ties That Bind
12. The Heart From Your Hate
13. Beyond Oblivion
Encore:
14. Shattering The Skies Above
15. Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr
(Capsizing The Sea)
16. In Waves

Time to tear “The Heart From Your Hate” with Trivium’s recent video.


Power Trip’s Setlist:

01. Soul Sacrifice
02. Executioner’s Tax
03. The Hammer Of Doubt
04. Divine Apprehension
05. Nightmare Logic
06. Crucifixation
07. Murderer’s Row
08. Firing Squad
09. Manifest Decimation

Venom Prison’s Setlist:

01. Abysmal Agony
02. Babylon The Whore
03. Desecration Of Human Privilege
04. Corrode The Black Sun
05. Devoid
06. Perpetrator
07. Celestial Patricide
08. The Primal Chaos

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