The Crusade review by Trivium

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  • Released: Oct 10, 2006
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.1 (768 votes)
Trivium: The Crusade
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Sound — 6
Trivium's second CD, Ascendancy, was nothing short of spectacular upon it's arrival in 2005. Most guitar magazines hailed it as a return to thrash metal format, which it most definitely was not. The CD was more like a metalcore-esque opus. As good as that album was wrong, every problem that it had (and there were a couple) has either been corrected or intensified with Trivium's third outing, appropriately titled The Crusade. One of the major problems I found with Ascendancy was it's god-awful screaming. Gratefully, the problem was corrected on The Crusade, as Matt Heafy started using a growl approach a la James Hetfield (may metal gods be praised). Unfortunately this technique has caused opinions on the album to be divided. The biggest problem on Ascendancy was the poor song writing. Well, unfortunately for fans of quality music, it is worse now. The song writing on The Crusade has become predictable: verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus (with some minor variations every now and then). There are, of course, some standout songs where this formula works and Trivium seem to find their niche. For example, take a look at "Entrance of the Conflagration", a song that sounds just like something from the riffs of early Metallica albums (not that I'm complaining)! "Tread the Floods" is perhaps the best song on the album, with a catchy hook and killer guitar work peppered everywhere, not to mention Heafy on top of his vocal game. Of course, both those songs follow the above format of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus, and the format works. Where it fails is on stale pieces of work that sound forced and unaccomplished, like "Ignition", "Unrepentant", and "This World Can't Tear Us Apart" (with the latter being possibly the worst thrash-imitation I've ever heard in my life). In the end, almost every song (with the exclusion of "This World...") has parts to them that I like. But for most of the songs, there are also parts that I dislike, which creates an album for me that is barely above average. It's saving grace is that Heafy and Beaulieu have become masters of the guitar, and bassist Paolo Gregoletto excels at imitating Cliff Burton.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrics here aren't utter garbage, but they certainly aren't amazing. Slightly comparable to Metallica's "... And Justice For All", except more biased and juvenile. Heafy is a good lyricist, but he is by no means strong enough to tackle some of the issues he did. Heafy's songs about murderers and crimes (check out "Entrance of the Conflagration", "Unrepentant", and "And Sadness Will Sear") are fantastic. He tackles them with considerable knowledge and little bias. However, his songs "Ignition" and "Detonation" are just like every other anti-war metal band's lyrics. "To The Rats" is amateur and dare I say childish, and "This World Can't Tear Us Apart" is a naive look at love that's very revealing of the fact that Heafy is just shy of twenty-two years old. "Anthem (We Are the Fire)" is hair metal in disguise, and the lyrics reflect that. That being said, his singing has been largely improved since Ascendancy (although I heard a rumor that he only stopped screaming because screaming busted a vein in his neck during a show - not that I can verify that). He may sound like a Hetfield clone, but he's good at it and frankly better than Hetfield's vocals have ever been (sorry, but Hetfield can't sing more than three notes). The lyrics and singing are definitely the stronger points of this album.

Overall Impression — 6
Trivium is now slightly comparable to Metallica, but I wouldn't say they were cloning them either. If you were to buy this CD, I don't know if I could recommend buying the whole thing. I recommend you buy/download "Entrance Of The Conflagration", "And Sadness Will Sear", "Becoming The Dragon", "Tread The Floods", and the title track. "The Rising" is an excellent song (in my opinion), but I recommend that you listen to the 30-second previews on the web before you decide on that one, since I'm one of the few people I know who enjoys that song. All in all, after a CD like Ascendancy, this one is disappointing. It allows lots of room for progression, though, and I hope that Heafy and his boys can pull themselves together and write something truly great for their next work.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SndThePnBlw
    mmmm....saaaaandwich *drools* and Im not saying that they weren't original on Ascendancy...there aren't many bands that can sound like that and if they can it just doesn't even come close to sounding as good...just that if they kept doing that same sound over and over on every cd like every other band does....then that would be pretty un-original and uninspired music. But yea they would still pretty much kick ass if all they did was sing or all they did was sing...being able to do both and do them pretty damn good just shows their range of talent. but yea...dems just my 2 cents...i gotta get back to work haha.
    dio_dude
    trivium needs to decide wether or not they are a thrash band or a metalcore screamo band. This album was very confusing. songs like detonation and ignition start thrashy and ****in fantastic, but then comes the whiny singing and all that crap.
    fr33t0m
    I really enjoy this album. Being a mainly thrash metal fan and still liking ascendancy I was excited to hear about Trivium's new album before it was released. When I picked it up I was not disappointed. The first half of this album really impressed me, and while latter half was still very good, it wasn't quite as memorable. Everyone in the band knows how to play their instruments very well and it shows. The only thing I'm iffy about are the lyrics, they often seem cheesy and not very inspired(this doesn't distract much at all except for around minute 2:46 on the song "Anthem"...). If you like Trivium and/or thrash I suggest buying this album. 8.5/10
    trob_205
    this cd owns...idc what people say about the metallica comparison...metallica's prime was the stuff like ride the lighting, kill em all, and its also my fav. by metallica..but the truth is metallica isnt doing anything thing right now and their last attempt at it failed...St.Anger sucked major ass...Trivium has brought back metallicas glory days better than the legends themselves so far imo..i just hope this new stuff that metallica is working on proves me wrong
    blackborrego
    thirdeyepried wrote: Anthem is crap. Detonation is crap. The Crusade is the lamest instrumental track in the history of the world. The Storm is the only tolerable song on the new CD and that's just barely. Matt can't sing. Go see them live and you'll believe me. For all you people like me that loved songs like Suffocating Sight and Like Light to Flies, it sucks but those days are gone and they're never coming back. Unearth has filled the hole Trivium left behind for me.
    I'll miss ember to inferno and ascendancy ! the old trivium is never coming back !