When you see the phrase “The Sin and the Sentence” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Someone taking advantage, doing something wrong, breaking the rule(s), or even doing something against religious views or standpoints? Do you imagine or think of what kind of punishments follow for committing those sins? Yes, no, well what if I told you that people are condemning others of sins because they do not for not fully understanding the person they are condemning. On the first track and title song of Trivium’s newest album “The Sin and Sentence” they go into depth about how anyone, even you can condemn someone or how someone can just as easily condemn you. This song is revolving around the concept of condemning and stereotyping those because of what you may not understand.


Sadly, in our more modern society, condemning someone doesn’t need to happen due to a conflict with a religious view. Now just about anyone can condemn someone of just about anything, however in a more modern-day scenario most people use the word stereotype than condemn. This song targets the listeners emotions and challenges them to think about their lives about how they could be the ones condemning or the ones being condemned. In the book 3) “Stereotypes and Stereotyping” by Claude Fields she states that a “Stereotype threat is a concern that stigmatized group members experience when their behavior can potentially be judged as stereotypical”.

Right out of the gate, the first verse of the song jumps right to the horrible outcome of being condemned. at (0:41) “I heard the passing bells calling out my name. I knew I’d never see another day. I couldn’t swim against the tides of blame. I knew there was no other way”. Just as he says that he hears the bells calling out his name, or those who have condemned him have made up their minds. He knows that for whatever reason he was being condemned for, regardless of the reason and no matter how hard he fought against it, there was no escape. When we link the lyrics to the official music video that for their song we see that it kind of has an early 1300-1500’s European look theme to it. After the first thirty seconds we see a person leading another with a rope over their shoulders, instantly followed a pole in the ground with chains and hand cuffs dangling from the top of the pole, then ending with a quick glimpse of a man wearing rags in a small cell looking up, followed lastly with the presumably the man being led with his hand tied in rope. These quick succession visuals help push the loss of freedom and hopelessness of any kind of escape.



In the second verse they project their first lesson for their listener. They tell us that we better practice our lines and our words. meaning that if you slip and say something that someone doesn’t like or agree with than you will be at fault. If you do not watch what you say or what you present to people, they may condemn or stereotype you for something horrible. At (1:06) the lines “I know that real monsters lie. Between the light and the shade. It doesn’t matter what you say or feel. When honest men become deranged, they’ll genuflect to a lie ” are spoken. These real monsters aren’t those who are shown in the light or in the shade. These monsters are those who are in between the light and the dark, those who are following and believe what they are told without challenging it. In 2)Frank Jacob’s book “Stereotypes and Violence” he quotes Walter Lippman “Our lives are determined by stereotypes, no matter if we want it or not, no matter if we try to resist them or not.” this quote hits hard because no matter who you are there is a stereotype for everyone, you may not see it but it’s there. Now these monsters used to be honest people who have lost their way and decided to kneel to a lie instead of being able to see the truth. This right here, is possibly the second  biggest lesson or issues being presented in this entire song. How easy it is for someone to fall for a lie, for them to just then be able to follow this lie without a struggle to know the possible truth. Now everyone must watch what they say and regardless of what they may say or how they may feel about a subject, anyone or everyone around them could possibly be that monster who has become deranged and has fallen for a lie given by someone else.   

rock music

Half way into the song around the (2:37) mark, the song dives into what could possibly be the biggest lesson from the song. Here they drive their point that any can condemn or stereotype and no one is safe from it either. when the lines “Beware those who speak in tongues. For they may call your name” are read or spoken it is referring to anyone in the modern day who uses an alternate and possibly more complicated versions of the English language. For example, if you talk to anyone about their major in school, career or job they may have, music or entertainment preferences, about someone’s hobbies, they will most likely use alternative vocabulary that will sound like a foreign tongue to you regardless if it is still English. Now we are at a point that anyone can condemn for just about any reason from grouping. this grouping can be something simple ranging from, religious, social, age, or up and down the chain of command.  “You condemn me, cause you don’t understand me” Here it is, the horrendous truth behind most of those who condemn/stereotype or those who get condemned/ stereotyped. When one lacks an understanding for something that one will bend at knee or fall for the first story we hear about it without thought of it being good or evil.

countryWe may even sometimes follow this story to the very end no matter if it’s a truth or a lie. No matter who you are, what you do, what you say, what you provide people will find a way to condemn you. You can be the perfect citizen, working or going to school, however because you do not understand how people regularly dress or what the social norm is. People begin to condemn and stereotype you to that of which matches a horrible person. If you like music that people dislike, condemned to the worst of the people who may also like the same music. Don’t follow the same religion, then you better get ready for someone to condemn you and only see the worse in you regardless if you are actually that kind of person or not. In a quick interview 6) about their new album, Trivium’s bassist Paolo Gregoletto had this to say about their song, “beware being a part of this culture, because it could be you on the receiving end of that at some point. You’re one tweet away from changing your life”. Again pushing the point that no one is safe, regardless if you are posting online, having an over the phone call, sending a text message, or even talking face to face. something thing so small as sharing a personal interest or belief can potentially change your life.

As the song comes to an end the singer Matt Heafy decided to end the song with lyics “The sin and the sentence. Penance in the fire. The sin and the sentence. The plagues grip your throat.” At first,one never really takes much into account for this verse until the song ended on it. This verse is played and repeated numerous times throughout the song. They are trying to tell us that the sin and the sentence, condemning or stereotyping is a plague that spews from your throat, from where you speak. Only through punishing one’s self can one repentance for having done wrong. The struggle of course, is knowing that you may have this plague, and unfortunately for most this plague goes unnoticed until it is too late and someone then condemns them for it. 

The song “The Sin and Sentence” by Trivium is one of very unique standing. Though they applies to various genres of metal this one song tugs at the reader/listeners emotions and aims to make the reader’s/listeners think about how they my be in this situation. Through the emotional ride of being condemned for something that someone does not understand, who the real monsters are, if you don’t watch what you say/do you could go from the one condemning to the one being condemned. By understanding that anyone can condemn another out of lack of understanding, I feel this song pushes for a more logical look at how one goes about looking at others. How you may condemn someone for something you may not know and why someone would do that same to you. regardless of if this music fits your style or not, the lyrics are easy to read into to the point I feel it could help society learn from our horrible ways and hopefully better place for everyone it in. 






 Annotated Bibliography 

1)Tobias Tempel “Stereotype threat, test anxiety, and mathematics performance.” Social Psychology of Education. Sep 2014, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p491-501. 11p. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=sih&AN=98371813&site=ehost-live

this article is investigating a possible link between stereotyping and anxiety. This article will be used to help show more side effects of stereotyping and the possible trouble that it can cause the people who are being stereotyped. I picked this article because with it being linked to stereotyping it will help me express/explain what my choice of text is trying to tell its viewer. I believe that Tobias is a credible source because he has his doctorate in psychology, with expertise in cognitive and social psychology. He is currently a professor at Pädagogische Hochschule Ludwigsburg in Ludwigsburg, Germany 

2)Frank Jacob “Stereotypes and Violence” Global Humanities, 04/2016 http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e000xna&AN=1507752&site=ehost-live

This book goes into how bad stereotyping can be. Ranging from saying, names, derogative terms, and assumptions and how these have changed throughout the time of human history. I will be mainly using the information from this ebook to help express that everyone can be stereotyped and that it happens just as much today as it did in the past. Using this information will hopefully get the reader to think about their day to day life and see if they use or go about thinking about stereotyping people. 
3)Claude Fields “Stereotypes and Stereotyping: Misperceptions, Perspectives and Role of Social Media” Social Justice, Equality and Empowerment, Hauppauge, Chapter 2, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.2016  http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e000xna&AN=1226261&site=ehost-live

This Ebook goes into greater detail about stereotyping in the media. It uses modern day examples to help push the point of how bad stereotyping has become in social media. Each of the chapters in the book tell of different examples from locally in the United states to abroad in other counties. I am going to hopefully use some of the information given in this book to help drive the point that stereotyping is everywhere, in both the media and around the globe. 

4)Eleanor L. Simon “Psychology of Stereotypes” Psychology of Emotions, Motivations and Actions, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. 2011. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e000xna&AN=540562&site=ehost-live

This book goes into greater detail about specific stereotypes and who goes about using them as well as the psychology behind their actions. I plan on using this book and parts of certain chapters to hopefully have the information needed to help push the point of the negativities that stereotypes can bring and that no one is truly safe from being stereotyped. 

5)Carrie B. Fried “Stereotypes of Music Fans: Are Rap and Heavy Metal Fans a Danger to Themselves or Others?” Journal of Media Psychology, Volume 8, Number 3, Fall 2003 http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

This article is as close as I could possibly get linking music with stereotypes. It ranges from heavy metal to rap music. Going into studies looking into the stereotypes of both music genres and if they are true or not. I picked this because using the texted that I did, an article on heavy metal and it’s polar opposite rap is a great choice especially when it looks into how fans of each genre act compared to how society perceives them to act.

6) Eleanor Goodman, “Trivium’s track-by-track guide to The Sin And The Sentence” October 19, 2017 https://www.loudersound.com/features/triviums-track-by-track-guide-to-the-sin-and-the-sentence

7) “Sin Stocks: Understanding the Debate: 12/26/2016

8) Trivium – The Sin And The Sentence [OFFICIAL VIDEO] 31/7/2017

9) Nyarrh “Music Stereotypes” 11/11/2003