Sound — 9
Now most people know Trivium for their awesome guitar playing skills, heart pounding drumming and most of all, the screaming vocals. On this new CD entitled The Crusade (representing their journey to conquer the world) the kickass drums and guitar remain. However, the largest difference between The Crusade and Ascendancy or Ember to Inferno is without a doubt the vocals. The music on The Crusade is improved quite a bit from Ascendancy and Ember To Inferno. The technicality of the guitars has taken a step up (yes, it is possible) and still manage to sound awesome. Matt and Corey have incorporated a lot more sweep picking into their solos although there seems to be a distinct lack of harmonised solos. Travis Smith has cooled down a bit on his insane use of the double bass, he is now writing drum tracks which don't just follow the guitars, but instead keep a better rhythmn. You can actually hear Paulo Gregoletto's bass playing on this album, and he is a half decent bass player. The production quality and mixing of this album is very good.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on this album aren't as good as Ascendancy's, they are more of a story being told. If you have heard Trivium's cover of Master Of Puppets or seen them live recently then you will know what the new vocals are like. It's a kind of heavy singing, much more like mainstream metal (oxymoron). For most people, it's a love or hate decision about Matt Heafy's new vocals. I personally like them (although not as much as I liked his screams) but my one pet peeve is that he now sings in the heavy style on all their songs when he plays live. Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr just doesn't work if you don't scream it.
Overall Impression — 8
So in conclusion, a pretty good album although not quite up to par with Ascendancy in my opinion. For fans of: Trivium, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth.