Sound — 10
Having enjoyed Ascendancy and The Crusade, I purchased the CD/DVD edition of the album. I think at the time, they were my third favorite metal band, right behind Metallica and Iron Maiden. With this album, both were left entirely in the dust, in my opinion. I don't know if recording in Nashville had any effect, but this record far surpasses all three of their previous offerings. I think the thing that stands out here, like they said on the documentary included, is that everyone shines here. I don't know about innovations, but when a metal/metalcore band can throw a blues guitar solo into the title track and have it fit into the 11 minute monstrosity, then there is obviously something being done very well. 01.Kiruste Gomen: the title track here is pretty crazy. From an acoustic intro that mirrors the chorus of the song Shogun to a primal drum pattern to the solo at the end, this song is great. 02.Torn Between Scylla And Charybdis: my only complaint here is that Heafy pronounces Charybdis wrong, but no problem there (it's pronounced with a hard 'c' sound, not a 'ch' sound, for the curious). What really stood out here was the bass guitar solo at the end. It wasn't forced or anything. Definitely sounds like lightning to me when I here the intro. 03.Down From The Sky: if the previous track was lightning, this song is serious thunder. To be honest, I didn't like this when it came out as a single. I thought the lyrics were annoying and the screaming over done. Now, however, not even the lack of a guitar solo bothers me. This song is just right. 04.Into The Mouth Of Hell We March: the names get ever longer. I really liked the repetition of the title, getting louder and more powerful until a very fluid solo somes along and makes you want to learn guitar just to play stuff like that. It goes right back into the chorus. Overall, it never loses the energy it started with, even in the softer bits. I really like the guitar melody here. It's simple, but it goes very well and is pretty catchy. I liked the outro a lot; I love when a heavy band can do something like that and not lose itself. 05.Throes Of Perdition: I don't envy the guys doing this intro. It sounds cool, but the rhythm is difficult to get. The main riff is cool and I like the lyrics, even the screams (which I often think sound dumb for bands). The preceeding solo is fitting; it's very melodic coming right out of a pretty standard metal riff. Although it is pretty long, it keeps attention with a nifty melody and dives right back into the triplet riff, which is nicely followed by a softer chorus and proceeds to the end. 06.Insurrection: I like how this song starts. As with several of the earlier songs, this track is pretty good in my opinion. I like the riffs here more than the last three songs. The soft interlude is really neat here. It gets my attention right back. I think it's pretty reminiscent of the bit in Master of Puppets right before the solo. Speaking of which, the solo keeps the same feel and slides and makes large interval jumps. I love it. 07.The Calamity: another neat intro, which I am a fan of. This track goes right into the lyrics and makes a good sound. The chorus is really nice here, well sung with a good riff beneath it. All the bridges in this song make sense and do their job well. There's a really loud screaming section before the solo, which is decent, but sadly another forgettable affair until the second solo comes in and takes centerstage. Good track throughout. 08.He Who Spawned The Furies: sadly, this song isn't as good as the intro promised. The verse is rhythmic and neat, but it never got stuck in my head. I liked the chorus a lot, with a very well done scream -> clean vocal pattern. The lyrics are neat, but more on that later. There's a heavy riff covered by screams that leads right into a liquid solo that goes well with the pattern underneath. The second half of the solo is the better one. If this is Trivium filler, then we're saying volumes about the band's prowess. 09.Of Prometheus And The Crucifix: and we have here proof that energy is neither created or destroyed. This song has all of the power that the first couple of tracks promised and delivered on. The guitar work is very good; it never relents, which makes this song have a very nice sense of urgency. The drums fit well. I love this track. The solos are truly obscene. Once again, heavy riff and breakdown with organ grinding (literally) lyrics lead right in. I really love Trivium solos, but this one really stands. I like the sense of melody a lot. They aren't just sweeping this sng into oblivion. Once again, there are two parts, but the first one is better, in my opinion. There's a nice melody following, some lyrics, and a solid ending. 10.Like Callisto To A Star In Heaven: nice intro melody. The proceeding bit is well done. I don't like the oppressive screams, but the clean vocals are very fitting. Once again, it promises some good vibes and energy and delivers quite thoroughly. Another breakdown, followed by a solo. I like how it comes in right over the vocals and proceeds to send us flying into the stars for a moment. Breakdown continues, song ends. Very screamy song. 11.Shogun: I could go on forever here. The intro is very nice and anthemic. It proceeds into a solid melody, which the vocals go over top. Very solid metal track. The chorus vocals are mirrored by the intro in Kiruste Gomen, which I thought was a nice touch. At about 3:55, the song seems to end, but then comes a softer melody. There are a few verses with a very soft voice, which added so much to this track. There is a fitting little bluesy solo by Heafy which goes right back to the melodic singing. The song slowly reverts back to metal and a breakdown proceeds. Press pause and put on a helmet, because we don't want to make a mess when your mind is blown: solo shreds everything. If anything, the tempo continues to increase and blows everything apart. Dual guitar solos abound and the soft bit comes back for a verse followe by a chorus, and then you realize eleven minutes is up. Great album closer, unless you're like me and have the bonus tracks.
Lyrics — 9
Now that the long bit's done, here's the singing. To be honest, I never liked singers. They always get too big an ego and act like they are the band. Matt Heafy is not like them. From guttural throat screams to softy crooning, he does everything well. However, I would like to point out that his screaming style is unsafe and could blow your voicebox out completely if you do that too much. At very least his normal voice will be messed up if he does that for too long. That said, I like the product. There are some places where I just sit astounded by his vocal skills, which is odd for me. I really like on some tracks when he goes from a screamed line to a clean line and back. That kind of style really just shows that he's got this stuff down. The lyrics are again well done. One might wonder where they get their inspiration, because half of the words my friends looked up in the dictionary so they could get the song. It's crazy. Somehow, though, he manages to get big words and lofty ideas into the songs without any trouble. What's neat is that the lyrics tell a story in each song, if you pay attention. I really like his voice; unlike a lot of bands, the lyrics aren't just an afterthought because of tradition - they're an integral part of the music.
Overall Impression — 10
This album threw Trivium into the top spot on my favorite band list. Ascendancy and The Crusade were good albums, but this one blows every metal band I've heard out of the water. Before someone corrects me, I don't really care about the semantics within a genre. I can understand speed, thrash, or melodic metal vs. Normal metal, but really, there is no need for this "metalcore" distinction. They're just a metal band, guys. Overall, every track here is well done. The songs never perform poorly, although there are some spots that need some polish for live venues. Probably my favorites would be Torn, Prometheus, and Shogun (I'm not typing those names again!) However, there are no bad songs here, just ones that aren't quite as good. That's something I really like about Trivium: there is never poor quality, just insane standards. If I lost this album, I would go ballistic. I would immediately turn around and buy a new copy. The whole thing just screams insanity. I love Trivium for this.