So your band is opening for metal legends Iron Maiden
across the seas in Europe and is being called the next Metallica. That is a lot to live up to and to prove, and the truth is the Orlando quartet known as Trivium
really is not worthy of the next Metallica label. The reasoning is simple, one there will never be another Metallica, and two Trivium
themselves are not at that level…yet. At such a young age, they have already made quite the dent in the metal scene across the world. If you are supporting Maiden on tour in Europe that should speak for itself with how important and big the band is. Back in the states, Trivium
has encountered there fair share of big tours, last summer ripping up the second stage at Ozzfest and this year being one of the headliners on the Sounds of the Underground tour. Aside from tours, this band is in the press a great deal as well. Open up any modern music or guitar magazine and I'm sure there will be an article regarding Trivium
. Now of course I found myself wondering what all the hype was about and decided to check out the band's latest release Ascendancy.
Needless to say, I was a little disappointed the first few times through but gave the record plenty more listens to reach a final verdict.
Let me just start by saying that hype plays a great deal in bringing this record down. Not saying this album is terrible by any means, but it gets way too much hype that in reality it does not really live up to. This album is marked up to be filet minion when in reality it is just a standard New York strip; still enjoyable, but not the cream of the crop if you will. First impressions of the record will be a little negative for this reason. When the screaming was heard for the first time, its raspy sound was not extremely well received. It was not dreadful, just painfully average for the most part. The singing was a little easier to digest, but once again was nothing extremely out of the ordinary. Guitar riffs and melodies were enjoyable but began to become a little repetitive. Bass was heard very softly, which is a plus in a way but once more it was only merely above average. Drums did exactly what they were expected to do, which was deliver solid beats with variation and speedy double bass. Unfortunately, the general structure of the songs became to become a little predictable as the album went on. Aside from drums, the only thing that hit a high note right away was the guitar solos. It is very safe to say that Matt and Corey are some of the most talented guitar players in modern metal. Their solos are possibly the most redeeming quality of the album, as they add so much to each of their respective songs as opposed to just shredding the fret board. They can accent some of the songs' moods with their melodic leads and harmonize some blazing fast runs. Now these guys are not afraid to make people aware of their speedy chops, as they are eventually revealed. The real treat though is how mature and disciplined the guitarists both are about letting their fingers fly. They know when it can add to the song and when the shredding needs to be tucked away. A very redeeming quality, but at a first glance this was the only truly lived up the hype.
I know you are asking, did I just wake up one day and decide to start liking this album err… what? That really did not occur, but what did is slowly over time things started to make a bit more sense. Vocally I must admit this album grew on me. Matt's screaming can be a bit rough at first, but than one begins to realize how its raw aggression really adds to the music. It often times fits the music very well when they are hammering off some heavy riffs. His scream could definitely use a bit of fine tuning though, as there are a fair share of moments where it brings down sections of a song. The singing is grew on me a bit in the sense that I began to notice how certain transitions were quite fluent. It can really add a powerful sense to certain sections of songs and can keep repetition from setting in on a vocal standpoint. The big aspect of the record, vocals, eventually all made sense to me as it started sounding better. Unfortunately, one area this record still is brought down by is repetition. Certain melodies can come off a bit tedious, but recycled structure is really what plagues this album. While transitions are smooth from screaming to singing, they often become predictable. Bridges are seen coming a mile away just because that's the way it occurred in the previous song. Am I complaining? Yes and no. This formula works well for the band, as they are used to exercising it. Yet at the same time straying away from their standard structure would be welcome. At the end of the day one must figure that at such a young age it might take the band another record or two before they start experimenting with the arrangement of their songs. As previously stated, at least what they stick to they perform quite well. This also might show more discipline as perhaps the band does not want to take a huge risk in doing something they are not ready for.
So what is the band ready for? Lets put them on pace with Metallica just for the heck of it. If they are keeping up, they are about to release their third album, their Master of Puppets. Is it believable? Yes, the key is they just might release their
MOP, and their
classic album. But the bottom line is there will never be another Master of Puppets in my eyes. Now off the subject of the comparison rant, a couple of things need to take place for the band to have a strong follow up. First and for most, the guitar work needs to persist and judging by some interviews with Matt, this will not be a problem at all. The main aspect that need some tuning is the screaming. With a little bit of vocal work, they will bring in plenty of new fans. Also if some new structures were brought into play it would make the record a more enjoyable listen all the way through. Well if that's all that needs to be changed, that means a lot of things succeeded in Ascendancy
, which is the case. There is no question that with this release Trivium
made a huge dent in the modern day metal scene. Quite possibly the time is ticking until this band is the heart and soul of today's scene, as they are at a young age and already off to a fantastic start. We have all heard the hype about the album; and the truth is it lives up to a little more than half of its build up. This is not
trashing the album, just its hype. Once more, shove all that, the comparisons, and the fanboys aside; this record is not a masterpiece, but it sure is a good listen from time to time.
Final Rating: 3/5