Heavy music is full of legendary bands boasting deep catalogs stacked with iconic songs — sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, or what to consider their best. With that in mind, we present the “Mandatory Metal” lists, which collect what we consider to be the definitive tracks from various members of the metallurgic pantheon. Up today, Trivium, those fast and furious heavy-metal stalwarts, whose penchant for epic compositions and dizzying shredding has launched them into the upper echelons of the heavy-music kingdom. The Florida-based band are going strong and have a catalog packed with must-hear rippers, but in our opinion, these classic cuts are their most essential. If you disagree, sound off on The Pit Facebook page.
This near 12-minute masterpiece off the band’s fourth album is Trivium at their finest. While featuring a then-long-awaited return to screaming by frontman Matt Heafy, it’s also a never-ending, brutal thrash attack, full of seven-string guitar complexity that showcases of exactly what these warriors are capable of.
Sample lyrics: “The inferno spews out hell’s horde/Casting the flames upon our world/As death eclipses all the light/We make our last stand, ’til death: fight”
“Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr”
This ripping single hails from 2005’s fan favorite Ascendancy, which was the first Trivium album to feature now-longstanding members guitarist Corey Beaulieu and bassist Paolo Gregoletto, rounding out the band’s sound. Urgent and savage at times, it’s also one of Heafy’s most revealing records, delving his “personal insecurities” with brutal honesty.
Sample lyrics: “My hands grip your throat/I need your end/Burned, staked, ripped apart/I avenge/For every life you have taken/I am here to repay”
“Ember to Inferno”
The 2003 album of the same name was written and recorded when Heafy was just 17 years old. This furious banger — raging from the head-splitting opening notes to a demolishing outro — leaves a wild burnout in its path. Just admit it: You could never write anything this good at that age.
Sample lyrics: “In evolutions design it will burn up all obstacles/Changing opposition to a carnal ash”
This 2011 album was shock to the system, stepping away from their past thrash leanings into a more mature rock direction. That said, this live-show staple is a crusher, through and through — stirring, encompassing and overpowering. Change isn’t always a bad thing.
Sample lyrics: “I know that death approaches fast/Whats the purpose if this life wont last?/Pulling everyone down with me.”
“Amongst the Shadows and the Stones”
Yes, a brand new track, but one that truly belongs here alongside tried and true classics. Catchy, heavy and shreddy, this song has the fierce screams, the technical riffing and even bits that flirt with melodic death metal — making it represent the past, present and future of Trivium.
Sample lyrics: “The harder we fight, the faster we fall/Stand in the black, defeated we crawl/The darker the end, they never will know/We die for nothing at all”