Background Noise: Trivium

For That Nice Relaxing Day At The Hobby Table

When it comes to my time spent at the hobby desk, my taste in background noise changes as the wind blows. It also varies in language, as I regularly flop back and forth between Japanese and English language music. But for the most part, the music blaring out of my computer speakers or stereo, much to the chagrin of my wife(and most likely my neighbors), is some kind of Metal, Grunge, or Ska/Punk. Of course my tastes do not lay with these genres alone, but when I am hobbying it regularly ends up being something heavy or driving. Metalcore, Death Metal and Black Metal are my regular sub-genres.

There is a pitfall to painting intricate miniatures with a soundtrack such as this, however. With fast music comes emotional and physical reaction. Elevated heart rate, moving your feet to the blast-beat, headbanging, singing along, the urge to flip your desk and destroy everything in sight. Well, the last one comes regularly without the music. That’s just me painting White Scars. Paint white, paint red, touch-up white, touch-up red, touch-up white, touch-up red, FLIP THE MOTHERFUCKING TABLE!


Though, they have been around for over 20 years, I first picked up on Trivium in the latter 2000’s. Specifically after the release of their Shogun album(late 2008). I found them in a time when my studies in Japanese were really taking off. With the use of Japanese words and phrases, the name of the album and track names really stood out. In all actuality, I was probably searching for Japanese music and found them through that search. Since then, I have seen them live a handful of times. And their live performances are always outstanding. I have even dragged my wife to se them. What makes them great for me, specifically when painting, is that they pace-jump a lot. Of course they are a metal band, with heavy and blistering riffs, but they also aren’t afraid to slow things down. This change of pace gives me a little bit of respite while painting.

Trivium have regularly put out albums every 2-3 years throughout their whole career. Which is pretty impressive. I rarely hear a track from them that I do not like. Shogun was my favorite of theirs ever since I first heard it. The whole album is pretty much perfect. From the opening Kirisute Gomen all the way to the end with the title track of Shogun. The album takes you for a ride.

The Twitch Arc

I lost track of Trivium for a while after the album In Waves. I only heard a few new songs here and there when they spilled into my Spotify jukebox(or Pandora, before I made the switch). But mid last year, during my long bout with COVID, I picked back up on their stuff heavily. This was thanks to my falling face-first into the Twitch rabbit hole(which was more or less predicted here). In an “oh, no shit!” moment, I happened to find the band’s lead singer Matt Heafy on the streaming platform, and gave him a follow. He was doing song creation streams from his home studio. Which I thought was pretty badass. A look behind the curtain of a bands creative process. You don’t get that too often. Then a few months later he announced that Trivium was setting out to tour opening for Iron Maiden(one of my all time favorite bands). So I thought that his almost daily streams would be coming to an end for a bit.

Because there is no way he would be able to stream on the road regularly. Of course he would be way too busy.

I was wrong. Not only did he stream, the streams were only going to get better.

One night, as I was at my desk, I pulled up Twitch to see who was on, and I was surprised to see Matt’s channel active. I was even further surprised to see that he was broadcasting Trivium’s entire live set on Twitch. And to make matters that much more sweeter, the audio was not from a microphone attached to the camera. No. They had actually plugged the camera into the on-stage mixing board. So I was hearing the exact same thing that the crowd in attendance were.

Holy shit! Free concert!

I was in the chat for this show

The vantage point was stage-left looking across at Matt, Corey, and Paolo. Alex, the drummer was out of frame. But I could totally forgive this view with the prospects of a free concert! Unfortunately I tuned in at the end of their set, and they were playing their last song. But from there I made it a point to follow their entire tour’s progress, all across the U.S. And I cannot even tell you how many shows I have watched in the past six months. They have toured all over USA, Canada, Mexico, South America, and currently(at the time of typing this) they are in Europe.

Sometimes the internet craps out or is unstable on site. He is streaming using a camera attached to a backpack full of modems. Or there may be technical difficulties, like cables busting, or modems overheating. But for the most part, you get an awesome show, and occasionally you get a different vantage point(depending on the size of the stage. If you are not subscribed to Matt’s channel you will get slapped with ads though. Twitch is really ramping up the ads recently, and a lot of streamers aren’t too happy about it. I am subscribed to his channel. 5 dollars a month is nothing for multiple concerts streamed with great audio(ad-free).

I have regularly spent nights sitting at my hobby table painting while Trivium has been tearing up stages across the world. But the stream doesn’t start with the show. It starts hours prior, with Matt warming up his vocal chords and guitar while interacting with the chat. Then it moves on to the warmup space, where the band gets ready together. Trivium are known for their long and full warmup “pig-pen” sessions. It is so cool to take a look behind the scenes like this.

Currently Listening To:

In the Court of the Dragon

In the Court of the Dragon is the band’s tenth studio album, and it has rapidly risen to compete with Shogun for my favorite Trivium album. From start to finish it is solid. It was recorded during the height of the COVID pandemic and it was put together very well. It is incredibly hard to pic, because it is full of strong songs, but for me the final song ‘The Phalanx’ is the highlight. Much like Shogun is for the Shogun album. The video is shot in an open space and was done in collaboration with Elder Scrolls Online. So it cuts back and forth to very impressive animated scenes playing out along with the music.

Other great tracks from this album include:

  • In the Court of the Dragon
  • Like A Sword Over Damocles (live cut from Twitch above)
  • Shadow of the Abattoir
And the video is badass. It was created in collaboration with Elder Scrolls Online.

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All of these are true except for one:

Robert is: a Hobbyist, a Music Lover, an RPG Gamer, a Mustard Lover, Chaotic Neutral, a Japanese Speaker, a Veteran, an Otaku, a Table Tennis Player, an Anime Fan, an Aviation Professional, a New York Rangers Fan, a Chaos Lover With Loyalist Tendencies.

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