Sound — 9
This album. This album is possible one of the best metalcore albums if not THE metalcore album. It is filled to the brim with amazing riffs, great hooks and mind melting solos, all of which are ingredients for an amazing metal album, which it is. Along with The Blackening and Ashes of the Wake it is one of the best metal albums of the last decade (IMO).
Lyrics — 9
Matt Heafy's lyrics can be amazing, for example The Decieved "Behold your fellow man/Through centuries of torment", or they can be pretty mediocre, fore example Dying in Your Arms "You poisoned my life/So I'll take this knife/And I'll cut you out" but all in all the album is pretty strong lyric wise. Onto his vocals, his screams are quite unique and strange sounding also (they often sound like inhales). The harsh vocals that began to develop on this album are infamous for being like James Hetfields. What? They don't sound much like James' vocals and they were inspired by Robb Flynn. Moving on, his clean vocals can sometimes be weak but for the most part they are great and on "Departure" in particular his clean vocals are fantastic.
Overall Impression — 10
The End of Everything: A short piano played intro. Much like "Last Rites" on Megadeth's "Killing is My Business... " it braces us for the awesomeness that is about to begin. 01.Rain: Blasting forth with a strong punch-in-the-face riff this song sets the bar quite high for the rest of the album but Matt and co. Continue to reach it and often surpass it. 02.Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr: Travis opens the song with a short dose of awesomeness which continues to build as the rest of the band joins in. By the time Matt's vocals begin most heads have already exploded. 03.Drowned And Torn Asunder: Probably the weakest song of the album for the sole reason that it hasn't got the intesity that the rest of the songs do. On a BFMV album this would do fine but not for Trivium. 04.Ascendancy: great song but certainly not title track material, there is a certain song which steals it's thunder... 05.A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation: this is that song. Almost the entire song is composed of awesome guitar harmonies and Matt and Corey's dual solo had my jaw firmly glued to the floor. Easily the best song on the album. 06.Like Light To Flies: the two opening chords are a warning signal for the amazingly tight riffage in the style of Master Of Puppets and also structured similarly as well as there is a breakdown before the solo section. 07.Dying in Your Arms: just your average metalcore ballad which is redemed by the solos and the awesome modulation to the major on the final chorus. 08.The Decieved: galloping riffs begin this aggresive monster of a song, as it progress it continually gets better until it reaches it's peak with the bridge before the solos (ie "behold your fellow man"). 09.Suffocating Sight: I'm not sure about this song, when I hear it I think nothing at all of it, nothing bad but nothing great either. Filler IMO. 10.Departure: ascendancy's hidden gem. As I said earlier Matt's best vocals appear on this very song when the chorus eventually kicks in ("Distance yourself from the pain") and my favourite part would have to be the very subtle spanish-sounding part after the solos (listen closly and you'll catch it). 11.Decliration: not the best way to end an album but still a very good song. Matt continued his way on ending albums with long songs on The Crusade (just beating this one at just over 8 minutes) and Shogun (clocking in at just under 12 minutes). It also fails to deliver on the epic scale which long and album ending songs should have but like I said, still a great song.