This album was the first real metal album that I listened to. It is really what turned me into the metalhead that I am today. A friend told me about this band when he first heard their drummer, Travis Smith, laying down just about the fastest double kicking he’d ever heard. As he described it, Travis Smith had “feet on steroids”. I checked them out, and at first, I had thought there was too much screaming. However, I then began to look into other metal bands, such as my current favorite, Opeth, and somehow began to appreciate this newly discovered style of music. This CD deserves five stars because of the rare, wonderfully clean vocals of Matt Heafy, and also because of the consistent guitar harmonies. Some may say it is ‘not the first album to use clean vocals on the chorus’, but yes, we know that, it isn’t. Trivium’s ‘Ascendency’ may not be the first to use clean vocals, but I think they do it very well, in fact, better than most other bands. Even though the whole CD is near flawless, here are some of my absolute favorite tracks ( Yes, I know that they are mostly all together, but thats just the way the CD goes ) :
2. Rain – I’d call it a tie for my favorite between this song and Drowned and Torn Asunder. The constant, blazing double kick assault is really what makes this song. I especially like the end of the song where there is a major tempo change and Heafy sings, “Swallow every blasphemy. Eat out your heart and make it bleed.”
3. Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr – Great lead-in by Travis on this song. The vocals on this track are very fierce, and the chorus is one of my favorites.
4. Drowned And Torn Asunder – Superior vocals on the chorus, the best on the album. Great double kicking once again during the verses.
5. Ascendency – Not much lyrics to this song, but it is still a thriller. The intro will send chills down your spine. Matt is spilling his guts during the verses.
6. A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation – Wow, one of the best guitar solos that I have ever heard. This song is probably the heaviest on the album, which makes a nice break-up in the material.
12. Declaration – A PERFECT closer. Gotta love that signature Travis Smith 16th note assault on the kick drum. Probably the most meaningful lyrics on the CD, too. The whole song is just amazing. Period.
So, really, in conclusion, if you are new to metal and need an introduction, I recommend this CD. It is probably the best place to start for anyone. Hell, even if you’re not just starting up, it’s still a really great album to add to your collection. I’d place “Ascendancy” among my top 10 favorites of all time. Also, look for their new album when it hits the racks this fall. Thank you for your time.