Review Summary: Instead of taking the normal road of progressing musically and actually making listen able music, Trivium have put their love of '80s Metallica to use making a tribute album of sorts.
Trivium have, in recent years become one of the most popular and biggest bands in the face of metal. Their sophomore release Ascendancy
was received with mostly positive reviews from the press. Hailed as "One of the greatest metal albums of all time", and "The best album of 2005". The year of 2006 has proved to be as fruitful as the last; recently Trivium have been opening for Iron Maiden in Europe, and are starting to tour again in America. With their final single from Ascendancy ([Dying In Your Arms) they gained even more fame from the mainstream crowd. Enough of that for now, onto their latest release The Crusade
When I first saw this album I was actually hopeful, while Ascendancy was by no means a great album, it showed loads of potential. The song writing was below par, though it showed promise. When I got The Crusade
and first sat down and heard Ignition, I was slightly disheartened. I was still a little hopeful, but after listening to the rest of the album I was very disappointed.
is a massive step down from last year's Ascendancy
. It seems as if they have taken their love for Metallica to a completely new level. The Crusade
can almost be mistaken as a Metallica tribute album, or even worse a cover album. Instead of using last albums theme of just generic metalcore, they have decided to put in a ridiculous amount of Metallica influence along with that. Even Matt Heafy has modeled his singing voice after James Hetfield. Dropping the screaming that was a huge part of previous releases, this album is about 50% clean vocals, and the other 50% is his raspy scream. His vocals are still an improvement from before, but that's not to say that they aren't bad. His voice sounds very strained when he sings, I still doubt whether he has proper technique.
Onto the guitars, most of you I'm sure remember the above average playing that was showcased on Ascendancy
, both Matt and Corey are both very technically adept. However, their song writing ability is still far from acceptable. The riffs sound recycled and reused; the solos while at first sound awesome and full of life start to become very dull and lifeless by the fourth track. They put in a lot of fills or mini-solos if you will. They seem as if they are merely trying to show of their chops, instead of putting substance into a song, something all of the tracks are in dire need of.
The bass is heard rather well in the mix, and huge improvement from it being almost absent before. Paulo is by no means a great bassist. His basslines are very cliche and fail to distinguish themselves as good, or for the most part even decent. Travis has really toned down his drumming as well. His fills are becoming more and more predictable, and less technical by the measure. Even he has adapted a more Metallica-esque approach to drumming. Instead of using interesting combinations, he just does easy and bland drumming. When he could really add to a song with beautiful fills, he decides to lay back and let the guitars wank for minutes on end.
Trivium have really traded a promising career that one may have been proud of, just to get a few seconds of fame, and a chance to talk to their idols. The fact is that instead of making themselves into decent musicians worthy of all this attention, they took the high road and just made a copy cat album of Metallica in hopes to make a quick buck. Their self proclaimed "ridiculously technical thrash metal" is really nothing more than Master of Puppets soaked in generic american metalcore. Predictable breakdowns and riffs, The Crusade
is the equivalent of blasphemy in the music world.