Sound — 10
Well I have heard many metal albums over my lifetime, and though many roused my attention, only a select few truely inspired me and we're imbedded in my mind even months after hearing it. The Crusade will be one of those indefinetely. The sound has really changed immensely from that of Ascendancy and ETI and for the better I can honestly state imo. But many will argue Matthew K. Heafy's new "Hettfield-esque" vocals will tarnish this bands place in the top metal ranks. I would disagree with all of those statements. If you listen close you will hear Heafy's own signature vocal style, and his melodic soft singing is very reminiscent of Ascendancy. Even the guitars have changed. The distortion seems much heavier and the guitars themselves rather than Gibsons and Ibanezes now consist of Deans. The solo's and tight intricate guitarwork on this album will blow all of Ascendancy out of the water, especially The Crusade's 8 and a half minute instrumental masterpiece title track "The Crusade". That song is by far the embodiment of Triviums new sound in a nutshell. Swift time sig changes, changing scales completely mid-song. Even the new useage of a 7-string electric and some more acoustic work from none other than Heafy. Even Corey's shredding insanity has drastically improved. Paolo has grown from being just a rythm bassist to busting out cranked up bass solos and bass lines all throughout the album. Matt and Corey have also develped a strong liking for Wah solos, whammy squeals (via Matt), and arpeggios of almost any kind. In all, the sound in my eyes is some of the best I have ever heard in my life.
Lyrics — 9
Matt's lyrics have dramatically increased in substance. He has moved on from simply singing of his own personal issues, to more global socio-political lyrics. Do not distress however, he didn't go all political on his fans. In such songs as "Unrepentant" and "Entrance Of The Conflagration" he takes his usual strong stand against child abuse but cranked up about 12 notchest. Entrance being about a woman that drowns her children for fear of satan, and Unrepentant a poor father slaughters his children. While songs like "Anthem (We Are The Fire)" and "The Rising" kind of lack lyrical brilliance, they are still good fist shaking songs. He also sings of a true story, the tale of the young man Sheppard whom was tied up to a fence, beaten, and left for dead all for his sexuality ("And Saddness Will Sear"). "There is a lot of negativity, but hopefully it will spark up some want to do something" said Heafy about the lyrics on the album. But those that do not like all the negativity will enjoy "This World Can't Tear Us Apart" as Cory describes to be "baby-making music" on Mike Davis's Rock Show.
Overall Impression — 10
As a whole the album definetely has inspired me and has enveloped me in sheer musical brilliance from people that are barely at Americas legal drinking age. Even though it has it's weak points in my opinion (ironically Paolo's songs "Anthem" and "The Rising") The Crusade more than makes up for it with other songs. The songs that have really stuck in my mind (though I passionately love everyone of them) are "Entrance Of The Conflagration" for it's lyrical topic and the brilliant solo part in the middle, "Ignition" for the very mournful chorus, "Unrepentant" and "Tread The Floods" because Corey wrote the guitarwork for them (accpet Matt's solos of course) and he is an extremely talented writer, "And Saddness Will Sear" for the intense yet simplistic 7-string guitar riffs, and of course last but not least "The Crusade" for it is just sheerly musical brilliance. I will not elaborate on "The Crusade" because I do not wish to spoil this amazing song, but believe me it is everything Trivium claims it to be. In conclusion If this album were stolen I'd sure as hell buy this metallic masterpiece yet again.