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ALBUM REVIEW: Ember To Inferno: Ab Initio – Trivium

Many moons ago in 2003 a band of young upstarts who possessed a scary abundance of expertise burst onto the scene almost single-handedly revitalising the metalcore scene and that band was of course TRIVIUM. Roadrunner Records wasted little time snapping them up after the rapturous reception received from their debut effort Ember To Inferno and since then they have never looked back, taking the world by storm supporting some of the biggest names in metal like IRON MAIDEN and METALLICA along the course of their meteoric rise but now they are more than adequately equipped to headline major festivals as displayed at Bloodstock Festival last year.

The latest offering Ab Initio (Latin for “In The Beginning”) is a tribute to their roots re-releasing Ember To Inferno but with a stack of unreleased bonus material which comes in the form of demos, previously rare bonus tracks and a glimpse of what was to become the songs which helped construct their sophomore effort Ascendancy.

The bonus material comes in three different iterations, Ruber (Red), Caeruleus (Blue) and Flavus (Yellow). Ruber contains some very early demos which originally never made it to a studio release. Despite being very sketchy (providing a ‘recorded in a bedroom’ kind of vibe) and at times a little over zealous PainThrust and Lake Of Fire were already giving a clear indication of the monstrous potential of Matt Heafy (now the only original member present in TRIVIUM).

Caeruleus was initially a combination of tracks which was an independently released demo (entitled “Trivium“), displaying rough cuts of a handful of tracks which would become the backbone of Ember To Inferno alongside The Storm, Sworn and Demon which are some of the most enjoyable tracks on offer in this bundle, bestowing fans with the opportunity to hear tracks which only previously appeared as bonus tracks.

Sadly Flavus does not really contribute anything in the form of a surprise as the early recordings of Like Light To FliesBlinding Tears Will Break The Skies and The Deceived already feel like the polished article which was translated almost identically onto Ascendancy with very little requirement for tinkering.

Unlike most re-releases which feel a little thrown together, Ab Initio feels like a thoughtful and comprehensive package providing fans old and new alike a glimpse into their history. Whether it is a nostalgic trip down memory lane or a refreshing insight into the dawning of TRIVIUMAb Initio will surely be a welcome addition to anyone’s collection.

Rating: 8/10

Ember To Inferno: Ab Initio - Trivium

Ab Initio is out now via Cooking Vinyl.

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