Trivium
Ascendancy


1.5
very poor

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
October 1st, 2005 | 1004 replies | 72,479 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


41 of 58 thought this review was well written

Trivium is one of many American metal bands christened as the revitalization of American heavy metal. At a very young age and with a mere two albums, Trivium has managed to turn heads of metal fans as well as setting records with their record label. This band is undoubtedly not without the potential to write great music, but at this point their writing skills are in desperate need of development. They have a definite strength in their playing - musicianship is respectable and it's obvious they are capable of much. However, Ascendancy seems to show that at this point, they have not yet mastered a unique style. Riffs and melodies sound bland and uninspired, and the vocals are in desperate need of repair.

After hearing so much about how guys this young can be so good at their instruments, I was eager to hear what they play. Needless to say, I was disappointed. As I said, riffs are beyond bland. They harmonize downtuned riffs like every other NWOAHM band, but they obviously haven't figured out how to distinguish themselves among a legion of bands that have emerged in recent years. While some songs do contain some catchy riffs such as Ascendancy or Like Light to the Flies, for the most part it is very generic sounding. The soloing is definitely a highlight of the album, however. The guitarists don't mindlessly shred like many other metal guitarists, but they obviously can. They choose to play solos that accent the song and display emotion, a very commendable course of action.

Unfortunately, the short spans of soloing time we hear are vastly overshadowed by the horrendous vocals work. To say the least, Heafy does not have a good voice. His scream is a high rasp that sounds identical to plenty of other mainstream bands I've been hearing lately. His singing is hardly any better. He can stay on key perfectly, meaning he doesn't need vocals lessons or anything along those lines. The problem is that his voice simply isn't good. Aside from a few highlight moments such as Dying in Your Arms or Suffocation Sight, the band could only benefit from a replacement. The rest of the band are much better at what they do, but for some reason they chose not to utilize their capabilities. The riffs are very simplistic, which only aid to the bland tincture of them. The bass goes unheard (except for perhaps Suffocation Sight) throughout virtually the entire album, a common thing among metal bands. The drums are respectable. The double bass speeds do get higher than expected at times (Rain), but overall none of his patterns are creative or mindblowingly fast.

In the end, these guys have potential, but I don't hear anything that would make them worthy of the praise they get. The musicianship involved is very solid, but nothing out of the ordinary. The riffing is relatively boring and uninspired. The vocals are of course, horrid. Trivium definitely has strengths, but they have yet to master those in their music and develop their songwriting. The soloing was used well without being overdone. Overall, the song structures were all very similar and predictable. Some of it sounded like rushed writing with no though, such as The End of Everything, which had extremely sloppy guitar/piano harmonizing. Perhaps in the future these guys will improve, because they many good things going for them. But for now, all they're simply another generic American metal band with adequate playing and unoriginal writing.

The album starts off with The End of Everything, a song that immediately gave me doubts about the album. The guitar playing was a little sub par, and the piano arrangement was extremely sloppy. It led right into Rain, a song that definitely kicked it up a notch. It was fast and heavy thanks to the chunky riffs and sweet drumming, but the slow parts and vocals bring it down. It kind of drags on and gets a little boring after the first minute or so. Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr is one of the better songs. The riffs and nice and catchy. Heafy's screaming seriously compromises the song's listenability, but the singing works very well with the music. The solo kills as well. Drowned and Torn Asunder doesn't differ much from what we've heard so far - the fast part of the intro sounds very similar to Rain, save for the brief lead lick. The rest of the song is really nothing special. By now, the transitions from the heavier sections to the melodic/singing parts are getting very predictable and overdone. The solo is easily the best part of the song.

The next song, Ascendancy, is yet another display of their style, this time around it is seriously repetitive. The transitions between heavy/melodic parts are sounding essentially the same every single song and this is no exception. A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation is also nothing special. A notably good solo, but beyond that, they reuse more of their boring riffs and heavy/clean tradeoffs. Like Light to the Flies makes much more use of Matt's singing instead of screaming, and consequently the song stand slightly above the rest. Once again, the soloing efforts are commendable, but the riffing is as uninteresting as ever. The fading in of the drums with the harmonizing in the middle of the solo sounds quite cool. Dying in Your Arms make use of some nice lead guitar. Matt's low singing along with the bass sounds very off, but the clean singing with the harmonized guitars is incredible. A little more emphasis on singing like we see here, and this album would've been much better.

The Deceived again sounds like the heavy Rain/Drowned riffing and isn't the most original song. More lead guitar licks are present, but not as noteworthy as ones prior to this. Basically the entire song sounds the same as stuff they have been playing so far. Suffocating Sight is a nice step up. The singing and choppy riffs sound pretty cool, and the soloing is once again a moment of ass kicking. Some nice guitar playing and acoustic lead into Departure, but the song is downhill from there. Screaming and familiar riffing are dominant, but the clean singing does give it somewhat of a boost. Declaration is the token long track on the album. Some interesting guitar playing eases us into the song before it once again descends into monotony. There's plenty of chugging and various other filler material, but for the most part I think they tried to drag this out too long. The soloing is incredible as usual, which makes the song worthwhile for the most part. Aside from that, the vocal/riff interplay is again recycled. Half way through the song gets faster and heavier, which, unfortunately, does not mean better.

Pros:
- Great soloing
- Some nice guitar/vocal work at times
- Fast and heavy

Cons:
- Terrible vocals throughout
- Bland, recycled riffing
- Way too repetitive

Recommended tracks:
- Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr
- Like Light to the Flies
- Dying in Your Arms

Unfortunately, the bad vastly outweigh the good on this album, and the majority of the album sounds like bland, repetitive filler. Every once in a while they get it right, but overall it seems like they have yet to realize what their strengths and weaknesses are.



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user ratings (2087)
Chart.
3.6
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Neoteric
October 2nd 2005



3243 Comments


Boobies.... that is all.This Message Edited On 10.16.06

Shadows
Moderator
October 2nd 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Thank you for understanding and not flaming. Before everyone gets pissed off at me, try and realize that I'm not trying to mindlessly flame this band. They have tons of potential, but it just seems like they don't know what they're doing yet. That said, they do have some worthwhile material.This Message Edited On 10.01.05

Neoteric
October 2nd 2005



3243 Comments


They are only 19-23 so I think they have plenty of time to evolve and develope.

Huber
October 2nd 2005



66 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I mostly disagree with the review, but I agree the style is a little bland. Personally though, I love the riffs on that album, and the vocals.

However, there needs to be more reviews showing negative aspects of albums. If you go to sputnikmusic.com and read almost any review, you don't get enough of the bad aspects of the albums, and let's face it no album is flawless. I think people need to see these flaws in reviews, instead of just those lame little pros/cons list that don't really ever favor the cons.

And for showing the flaws in that album, I give many props.

Neoteric
October 2nd 2005



3243 Comments


I mostly disagree with the review, but I agree the style is a little bland. Personally though, I love the riffs on that album, and the vocals.

However, there needs to be more reviews showing negative aspects of albums. If you go to sputnikmusic.com and read almost any review, you don't get enough of the bad aspects of the albums, and let's face it no album is flawless. I think people need to see these flaws in reviews, instead of just those lame little pros/cons list that don't really ever favor the cons.

And for showing the flaws in that album, I give many props.


I agree, that's why I try not to review my favourite ever albums, more my "other" albums. It isn't that often I give a review a very high rating.


Shadows
Moderator
October 2nd 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Thank you very much, that's what I was going for. I didn't like how both of the reviews for this were 5 stars, so I added my honest perspective. I think we need to start adding balanced reviews instead of 100 people who only review albums they like.

Like Cathedral said, they are quite young, and have plenty of time to develop. I still have high hopes for what they may do in the future. Grateful was right too - I made a typo there.

My_sweet_Shadow
October 2nd 2005



23 Comments


great review, i am a big fan of trivium and i really like this album but i do agree with you in that they have a long way to go before they are truly amazing band and i do think that they have potential to be one of the greats

asheroth
October 2nd 2005



130 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was going to review this sometime, and I would have said basically exactly the same things you did. Totally agree with the rating - Trivium are dumb thrash and nothing more, in my opinion. Dying In Your Arms is really good, though, except for the horrendous screamed section complete with terrible lyrics. Their Christianity-bashing annoys and offends me, too. Ah well. Well-written review.

James_666
October 2nd 2005



9 Comments


I give it a 3. I like the guitar harmonies and solos and I love Heafy's voice SINGING, but his screaming is way overused and subpar. Drumming is awesome, bass... wasn't there. This band however is an inspiration to me and has helped me form my writing style.

I'm Charming
October 2nd 2005



332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ShadowsFallen- I cannot say enough how much I disagree with this review. I think trivium has excellent guitar work and vocals.

Your review like all yours, is amazing and very deep. It's got the well done vote from me, even though I disagree.

superpeer
October 2nd 2005



257 Comments


I think I will stay away from these guys after reading this. :thumb:

Creepingdeath104
October 2nd 2005



6 Comments


How can people say it's as good as early Metallica, or they are the next Metallica?

Metallica were (pretty much) original. While although trivium are okay, they're not re-inventing the wheel here.

Arrakakaka
October 2nd 2005



685 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Thank you for making a non-fanboy review of this!

Why did I rate this a 3? I should have rated it a 2..This Message Edited On 10.02.05

_unknownST
October 2nd 2005



256 Comments


this was 2 overplayed and still is i liked it but now im not sure

Dead_Trench
October 2nd 2005



159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good to see a review which focuses on the negatives but I think you were too harsh. That's probably because of the hype though. If there was no hype behind this and you just happened to hear it what would you think?

Priestmetal
October 2nd 2005



542 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

AHA I knew it. These guys were just hyped up after all. Good review dude.

Thor
October 2nd 2005



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I wouldnt give it such a harsh rating like you, but I do agree that the album is repetitive.

Taste_My_Scythe
October 2nd 2005



3 Comments


Nicely written review...good job on it.

Shadows
Moderator
October 2nd 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Thsnk you everyone. I guess I would be lying if I said the hype around it didn't effect my opinion, but I think I was honest with the review.

The guitar work isn't bad, it just never struck me as anything truly notable. The soloing made the album, but the riffing left a lot to the imagination.

It's cool to see people can respect a negative opinion without flaming. I was worried this would turn into a flamefest, but this is great.

JacksonPlayerA7X
October 2nd 2005



8 Comments


"They choose to play solos that accent the song and display emotion, which is very commendable in my opinion."

...and still get a 1.5. There ain't a whole lot of guitarists that play leads for much more purpose than because they're fast and can..

And, thing about Metallica. How many bands were doing what Metallica was doing back when they started out? How many other albums were comparable to Kill 'em All in 1983? Nowdays everyone is screaming into the mic and playing guitar over their head, originality is kind of washed up.

I see it as, Trivium is able to express themselves and add a level of emotion that doesn't exactly add up to 12 songs about breaking up, so they have that much more on their competition. btw, you ever read any of the lyrics to the songs you trashed?



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