The Crusade



by Mikesn EMERITUS
October 10th, 2006 | 416 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

What were/are my most anticipated albums of 2006? Off the top of my head there is Motorhead's Kiss of Death, Into Eternity's The Scattering of the Ashes, Cellador's Enter Deception, Blind Guardian's A Twist in the Myth, and of course, Iron Maiden's A Matter of Life and Death. After that, there were/are bands that, though I am not a fan of them, I wanted to check out anyways, just to see where the band would take their careers next. Some of these would be Strapping Young Lad's The New Black, Falconer's Northwind, and quite obviously Trivium's The Crusade.

Now, Trivium was never a band that really impressed me. Sure they've got a couple good songs (I've always been partial to The Deceived off of Ascendancy), but up until now they haven't done anything spectacular enough to warrant the praise and hype leading up to The Crusade. Yet for some reason, I was really looking forward to this album. Perhaps it was the prospect of vocalist Matt Heafy ditching the screaming that plagued the band's first two albums. It worked for Avenged Sevenfold, I thought. Perhaps it was silly for me to expect the exact same results from Trivium, but as soon as I got it around my head I fell victim to the hype machine as well. Oh well. When I first heard The Crusade, naturally, I was pretty disappointed. That happens with most of the music I listen to. But still, after countless listens, the album still does nothing for me. Quite the disappointment, I must say.

With The Crusade, Trivium promised their fans balls out thrash metal. They promised an album on par with Metallica's legendary Master of Puppets. Unfortunately, they band doesn't come within a country mile of an album such as that. From the album's opener to the second last track, The Rising, every track sounds exactly the same as the one before. Listening to it over and over again, I would not have realized that the song had changed without looking at the song list. Plain riff after plain riff; Hetfield-esque vocal line after Hetfield-esque vocal line; the album rarely ever changes its formula. It doesn't help when their rehashed efforts are completely boring either. The only occasion where the band escapes this apparent routine is on the very last track, the 8 minute instrumental, The Crusade. In a way, it sort of reminds me of Orion. Maybe not in structure or sound, but the fact that it will undoubtedly be praised as a masterpiece as Orion is. Perhaps I will be in the minority, but I am unable to enjoy either. As with Orion, The Crusade is much too long for its own good. Shave a good 2-4 minutes off, and you'd have a much better song. The song is very messy, and the riffs do not flow very well at all. This song in particular was probably the biggest disappointment off of The Crusade, and I feel they could have done a much better job with it. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the album is the soloing, yet even this element does not save the band this time around. The excitement level does not rise above the bare minimum required to retain the listener's interest. For a band whose centerpiece is the guitarists and their performances, this is not a very good thing at all.

However, one positive change that The Crusade brought Trivium was the swapping of vocal styles. As I mentioned earlier, gone is the screaming which plagued their first two releases. That's not to say I hate screaming, but when you do it as badly as Matty did on Ember to Inferno and Ascendancy, change is welcome. Instead, he employs a rougher, James Hetfield-esque, style. Despite being unoriginal, he sounds great on the first two songs, Ignition and Detonation. Unfortunately, just as nearly everything else on the album, there is little to no variety in his singing, and it gets rather old after the fifth track. With sub-par musicianship, it is certainly disappointing that Heafy's vocals are not up to snuff either. Still, it is an improvement on past releases, and that's got to count for something.

The Crusade is at its best when you do not listen to the whole thing in one sitting. Instead, the best way to enjoy the album is in (very) little bits and parts. Listening to, saaay, Detonation or Tread the Floods on its own and they aren't necessarily bad tracks. What really brings the album down, as I mentioned earlier, is the sameness of pretty much every song. Each song (with the exception of the title track) is much more interesting to listen to in a playlist of several different artists, in your Ipod or MP3 player. The songs are much easier to digest, because you aren't listening to the same song over and over and over. But this is the only way I got anything out of the songs, and I shouldn't have to do this to enjoy the material. As an all around album, The Crusade totally fails in this aspect.

Is The Crusade the disappointment of the year? Possibly. Though I foresee plenty (read, dozens) of reviews claiming quite the opposite, I just can't get into the album. The entire album could be the opener, Ignition, twelve times in a row, followed by the title track, and you seriously wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Forget the musicianship which is lacking and the monotonous vocals; this is my biggest irk with the album. Before I may have claimed that Trivium can do better, but now I don't even know anymore. Matty, your band is running out of time…

Recommended Tracks:

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user ratings (2227)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • ForcedIn (3)
    A not-quite-golden return to 'The Era of Thrash'....

    Altmer (2)
    Not the classic that it was hailed to be. This album stood the test of time rather poorly ...

    Shadows (1)
    Wait, what’s going on? Wasn’t Master of Puppets released in 1986? When did Metallica h...

    Drunken Viking (1)
    Instead of taking the normal road of progressing musically and actually making listen able...

  • SadlyMisinformed (3)
    Definitly not the masterpiece it was hyped as, but an enjoyable listen for the mainstream ...

    fuggenwaggles (2.5)
    Trivium has showed that they had potential on Ascendency. The Crusade show's that they kn...

    Locrian (1.5)
    A swing and a miss....

    wakeupdead (4)

  • bfmv15 (3)
    All in all Trivium's new sound is pretty good, this album gives you a mix of trivium's old...

    Kronzo (3)
    Trivium has managed to make a solid release here with some wild solos. But some "expirime...

    Trivium (2)
    Let me start by saying, it has taken me 8 months to realize it, but this album barely dese...

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

Very well written review!! , except for the repeated use of "Hetfield-esque"... ;)

Totally agree with all your points, but I did give the album a tad higher rating ... But yes total, utter disappointment ... Definitely didnt live up to all the hype generated by the media and fans alike

This Message Edited On 10.10.06

October 10th 2006


Don't you mean Motorhead not Iron Motorhead. But nice review, could have added a bit more detail. But still.

Tarantino's Tarantulas
October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 2.0

The new and incredible Supergroup - IRON MOTORHEAD!!!!!

Its a better name than Iron Maidenhead.

October 10th 2006


Nice review, I actually liked Ascendancy and i'm iffy on wether this is worth my money(considering i don't have much i don't want to waste it on something bad).

October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 1.0

Eeh, whoops. Hehe thanks for pointing that out.

October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 1.5

Awesome review. I heard Detonation on youtube (one guy did an interpretation of it, pretty cool) and I loved the second part. The other songs are rubbish for me though...

October 10th 2006


Good reveiw. Better than anything I've ever done. lol (ive never done a reveiw.)

October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Awesome review Mike, I loved some of the wording you used. It really is true that Trivium didn't turn out anything close to the aggressive thrash they claimed, which certainly put a sour taste in the mouths of metalheads who were expecting something more. Your only point that differed from mine was on the vocals. I didn't care much for Matt's singing, but only because when I first heard them I couldn't stop laughing. It sounded like the most blatant James Hetfield ripoff ever. It's still better than his screaming, at least. Great job.

October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 1.0

Thanks. I'm glad this came out okay, whenever I write negative reviews about albums, I'm never really as satisfied with them.

And yeah, Heafy was way off the ball with this one. He's compared it with so many old thrash bands, maybe it's time he started writing a Trivium song, rather than a "Megadeth" song or an "Exodus" song. Because obviously that isn't working.

October 10th 2006


Ya I'll be sure to stay away from this although I like the cover.

Tarantino's Tarantulas
October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 2.0

The cover is ugly.

October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 1.0

Suffice to say this band is screwed for life after this.

October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 1.5

I did a /doubletake when I heard this...wait a sec...thats not logical.

October 10th 2006


I don't fault people for taste. I fault them for stupidity.

October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 1.5

Good Review dude.

Man... I have to admit I liked SOME of the songs on ascendancy, but this just sounds horrible to me. I really hate his James Hetfield Imitation bark. The ending for "Anthem" really pisses me off. It's like Matt Heafy ran out of ideas for lyrics so he runs a whole minute of cheesy "whoas" and "yeahs".

October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Great review man.

I've heard only Anthem and I quite enjoyed it, though if it does sound like every other song on the album I will be quite dissapointed.

I loved Ascendancy and Ember to Inferno and I'm ever-so-slightly pissed Matt decided to change his vocal style. Ill check this out

October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 1.5

So I hate this album. Biggest pile of trash I've heard all year.

south_of_heaven 11
October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 1.5

I enjoy about 1/3 of the songs on here...and I really like 'Ignition'...

October 10th 2006


Album Rating: 1.0

See, the great thing about Ignition is it's the first song, so you haven't had to listen to the same riff over and over for the last 20 minutes. :p

But I'd say it'd be one of the album's highlights, as well.This Message Edited On 10.10.06

Brain Dead
October 10th 2006


Pretty amazing review, although your opening is kind of abstract.

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