Trivium’s Matt Heafy Says Rhythm Guitar “Has Been A Little Lost” In Modern Metal

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The leader thanks the members of Voivod and Death for introducing an inspiring new approach

Posted on January 06, 2022

In an age when metal seems dominated by super-shredders, Trivium frontman Matt Heafy sings the praises of the rhythm guitar.

Heafy sat down with Guitar world for a new interview, where he admitted he felt rhythm guitar had “got a little lost” in modern metal.

“Every time you open Instagram there’s a new super freak who can do the craziest things most of us can’t do,” the musician explained. “But I feel like the concept of rhythm guitar has gotten a bit lost, especially in modern metal.”

Functionally, the rhythm guitar plays more of a supporting role in a band’s sound by contributing to both the rhythmic heartbeat of the song (alongside drums, bass, etc.) not a crucial component, or that it cannot provide an immense level of interest to a mixture.

“I think ‘A Crisis Of Revelation’ [from Trivium’s 2021 album In the Court of the Dragon] will be difficult for people to learn, ”continued Heafy. “It involves this weird style of selection that I learned from Chuck Schuldiner of Death and Daniel Mongrain of Martyr [and Voivod]. “

Elaborating on his approach inspired by Mongrain and Schuldiner, he added:

They were the first to use this weird technique that wasn’t just alternative or down-picking: it’s down, down, then down, up, down – sounding like dun-dun-dadadun. By making our debut, [producer] Jason Suecof told us that if we learn every song from Martyr’s Distortion zone (2000), we had become the best players in the world.

Daniel Mongrain is one of the greats – he’s classically trained in jazz, so he sounds like Marty Friedman and Allan Holdsworth mixed together. I did not invent [the style], but I’m one of the few players to use it.

Hear Heafy’s rhythm guitar styles in action in “A Crisis of Revelation” below.


In the Court of the Dragon made the essential Exclaim releases! from November 2021, worn by the remarkable track “The Shadow of the Abattoir”. Much like Heafy must be, we are eagerly awaiting the latest news from Mongrain on Voivod’s next album. Synchro Anarchy.


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