Sound — 6
First off, I loved Ascendancy and everything about it. The guitars, bass, drums, and singing. This album is nothing like Ascendancy at all. The riffs are lame cheesy arena rock rip-offs. Most of the songs sound exactly the same in structure and melodies. I was very dissapointed. The solos are ok, but not guitar hero stuff like they promised. Any one of the solos on the crusade would fit in any other song. It's mostly just fast alternate picked runs staright out of John Petrucci and Paul Gilberts instructional vids. The most dissapointing aspect of The Crusade to me was the singing. He doesn't scream and the only actual singing is on half of "Detonation" I would describe the new voice as a retaded James Hetfield being hit by a car but only worse. each song has the same vocal melody pretty much. "Entrance Of The Conflagration" especially sucks.
Lyrics — 10
I guess the lyrics are ok. the titles have big words, but I think he just does that to be cool, I don't know. The lyrics don't really matter though, since Matt's awful, awful voice drives you insane. I'll give the lyrics a 10 though because they themselves aren't bad. They're probably the least shitty thing on the album.
Overall Impression — 4
Trivium keeps saying that this album is really showing their influences of Metallica, Megadeth, and Maiden but all 3 of those bands are exponentially better. I just don't hear any similarities between them and any of those bands except for the voice which I've already talked about. The best song is easily "The Crusade". It has no vocals(thank god) and has some neat riffs but the song doesn't seem to gel together like "Orion" or "To Live Is To Die". It feels forced like they had 15 leftover riffs and just put them together into one song. I would say this song is like the hottest retarded girl in America. She may be hot but she'd still retarded. If it was stolen I would be happy.