REVIEW: Arch Enemy + Trivium Rip Up NYC

When two heavy metal titans collide. the ensuing headbanging is sure to be enough to give one whiplash at the very least. When the aforementioned heavy metal titans happen to be Arch Enemy and Trivium, things get a little crazy and it’s kind of a big deal for them to be touring together. So much so that fans of the co-headliners sold out New York’s Playstation Theater in the heart of Times Square on a Friday night – that’s no small feat when there are literally any number of other things one can be doing on a Friday night in this town, the least of which on any New Yorker’s list of ways to spend a Friday night is venturing into Times Square.

We covered Trivium on their last trip through the area – which included the band’s tour manager closing the photo pit – and they were solid on that run, but finally being able to photograph them automatically gave this show an edge before the band even went on. A dozen songs later, I was left just as impressed this time as I was the first time. Trivum kicked their set off with The Sin and the Sentence, which is the title track of their latest album released last month and would play 3 more tunes from their latest effort – Betrayer, Thrown Into the Fire and The Heart From Your Hate.

The band would shred for about an hour and 15 minutes before departing, playing hits from six of their eight albums, including In Waves, Shogun, Silence in the Snow, Vengeance Falls and Ascendancy. The set wrapped with an encore of In Waves before Trivium departed just over an hour after they began, wowing fans both of their band and Arch Enemy alike with a heavy metal performance only so many bands are capable of.

Finally, it was time for Arch Enemy, and by this time many had cleared out – evidently there for Trivium and for some odd reason disinterested in Arch Enemy’s set – leaving a little more space to breathe, mosh and crowd surf like one would expect at any good metal show. Full disclosure: Alissa White-Gluz is pretty new to me as far as Arch Enemy goes, knowing much of their earlier material with Angela Gossow, though White-Gluz has only been with the band since 2014. Currently, Arch Enemy are supporting their latest effort, Will to Power, though they had no qualms about playing many of their earlier hits.

Arch Enemy kicked things off with The World is Yours from the aforementioned new album, though they would play a whopping five tunes from War Eternal – As the Pages Burn, Avalanche, Stolen Life, You Will Know My Name and the title track – mixed in with three additional numbers from Will to PowerBlood in the Water, The Eagle Flies Alone and The Race. It’s only slightly odd for a band to go on tour in support of a new album and then play more songs from a previous effort than their most recent, and while it’s become more popular in recent years for bands to play half or even all of a new album with only a few well-known tracks in the mix, it’s clear Arch Enemy cares about their fans and put their set list together based on what’s popular, ending with Nemesis and sending their fellow metalheads into a frenzy.

That’s always a welcome sight when seeing a band live and I personally would always like to hear a band’s hits and popular songs over being force-fed new material that I may or may not have heard before, though I will say there have been many times where the first time I’ve heard a band’s new material was live and instantly fell in love, but if I’m seeing Arch Enemy I want to hear the material that made them who they are, and Arch Enemy delivered both on song choice and the stellar performance they’ve become known for. I’ve never been the biggest death metal fan, but this show reinforced why Arch Enemy is the exception.

Check out the photo gallery below.