| Discussions on Trivium could be endless; so much could be said, albeit a lot of swear words. The band, upon the release of their second album, Ascendancy, was hailed by some critics as “the future of metal,” and others as Metallica rip-offs, Megadeth rip-offs, and Pantera rip-offs. Many ambivalent listeners cast them as just “metalcore.”
But I have a problem with that, because Trivium isn’t metalcore. First off, Trivium’s influences consist of nearly no hardcore, and hardly any European melodic death metal. Trivium sounds completely based off American thrash--why else does their singer sound exactly like James Hetfield and their solos sound like a bored Kirk Hammett?
So my problem with Trivium is their inability to innovate. The only reason Trivium can be considered metalcore is because Matt Heafy screamed.
Their third album, The Crusade, out October 10th, will change that though. Heafy promises abrasive singing instead of screaming. If you thought Ascendancy was blatant Metallica plagiarism, be prepared for… more.
The first track, "Ignition," definitely doesn’t sound like an Ascendancy song. Nor does it sound like ...And Justice for All or The Black Album. It is a tamer song, more of a punk-metal tune with power chords and little shredding, kind of like, say, Kill ‘Em All? At this point it’s time to let out a big, big groan, as Trivium has once again capitalized on interpretations and variations of a Metallica album.
Heafy’s vocals sound like an amalgamation of pretty much everything Hetfield has ever tried with his voice. I could have guessed he totally forgot he ever heard Pantera or Slayer, bringing his influences on this album down to basically, well, just Metallica.
The instrumentation is not nearly as interesting as Ascendancy’s. Part of the thrill of that album was the proficient shred abilities Heafy and Beaulieu possessed, little of which can be heard on this album. “Becoming the Dragon” is the only amazing guitar song on this album.
The song structures are sufficiently boring; the album doesn’t get very fast, the intensity never grows nor ebbs, and none of the songs are heavy or energetic. Oh, and did I mention the lyrics sound like Schoolhouse Rock? A lot of the time the album sounds really juvenile, especially “Anthem.”
Basically any reason I had to listen to Ascendancy is lost on this album. “Becoming the Dragon” and the intro to “Contempt Breeds Contamination” are the only good parts. Trivium is a band of strong musicians who, at best, need to expand their listening horizon, or at worst, just have a weak sense of creativity. Boohoo.
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| THE CRUSADE
3) Entrance of the Conflagration
4) Anthem (We are the Fire)
6) And Sadness Will Sear
7) Becoming the Dragon
8) To the Rats
9) This World Can't Tear Us Apart
10) Tread the Floods
11) Contempt Breeds Contamination
12) The Rising
13) The Crusade