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Apollo, Manchester, Friday 11 March 2006

This gig might have been memorable for all the wrong reasons, with a technical hitch messing up their encore, but it is easy to see why Trivium stand out amongst the present crop of Metal Heroes and Metallica wannabes.

Barely six months after their last, lower-key, club and college tour, Trivium have now moved to larger venues and the only way, it seems, is up.

Their formula of thrash metal verses and almost pop choruses has proved infectious, complemented by their excellent playing skills and stage bravado.

Highlights tonight included, of course, the standout songs from their 'Ascendancy' album (especially what Matt Heafy calls their 'love song' 'Dying In Your Arms') together with an excellent cover of Pantera's 'Domination' as a tribute to Dimebag.

It was the technical fault that showed a certain vulnerability. Just into the encore, Corey Beaulieu's amp blew and it was left to Heafy to carry the moment.

The truth is such was the fever pitch of the crowd, and with his obvious musical talents, Heafy could have played anything. However, evidently deferential to Beaulieu, there was then a series of stop-start 'jams' which took in 'Another One Bites The Dust' and 'Sweet Home Alabama'.

Ultimately Beaulieu gave up on the amp and grabbed a microphone to accompany a solo Heafy on 'Pull Harder On the Strings Of Your Martyr'.

And there lies another anomaly, Heafy actually joked at the end of an intense and excellent hour that 'your band has no more tunes'.

This apparent chasm will no doubt be filled by the next album which the band start recording in April and is already being touted by the band themselves as something a little more musically adventurous. One suspects that they will retain their core sound, no doubt under the watchful eye of label bosses.

Trivium bucked the trend of the 'difficult second album' and No.3 will no doubt consolidate their ambition to become as big as their own Metal Heroes.

On the evidence of this performance, and technical gremlins aside, there will be no stopping them.

Review: David Randall

Related>> Latest gig review and interview (2007)

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