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The Crusade

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Average Rating
★★★½☆
(154 Reviews)

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From the opening future-thrash twin-blast of ”Ignition” and ”Detonation,” with their anthemic refrains and blizzards of lacerating lead work, The Crusade is clearly a body of work that could raise the bar for rock bands around the world. ThereÂ’s the staggering, precocious ”Anthem (We Are The Fire),” which blends the scathing thrash riffs of Megadeth with the infectious swagger of Mötley Crüe at their succinct best. The intricate, rumbling bludgeon of ”Becoming The Dragon” has a pummelling, cyclical rhythmic drive and soaring, left-of-centre chorus. The doom-laden, emotion-stuffed ”And Sadness Will Sear”, reveals a new, darker, edgier side to TriviumÂ’s otherwise hook-laden chops. The deceptively accessible ”The Rising” is a sumptuous hymn hewn from the juiciest licks that boasts a phenomenal crowd-rousing chorus… imploring the faithful to ‘Raise your voices with meÂ…and sing this song of unity!Â’ This collection of gems culminates in the albumÂ’s monumental, shape-shifting title track; a nine-minute instrumental monstrosity that twists, turns and torments the listener with rapid-fire tempo shifts, immaculate musicianship and a thrilling sense of adventure. ItÂ’s an obscenely brave and ambitious end to a glorious collection of songs that seems destined to cement TriviumÂ’s reputation as the heaviest, sharpest, smartest and hardest working band of their generation.

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  • First off I have never been a Trivium fan before this album. This might be the album that erases Nu-Metal and Metalcore and that is a good thing IMO. Everybody has there own tastes and if you want to listen to that type of music it will always be avaiable in the underground but it’s high time REAL METAL is brought back to the forefront and Trivium seems like the band willing to lead the charge!!!

    This album proudly showcases what makes real metal so great and superior to false metal. Ripping guitar solo’s executed unapologetically and often. Real sung vocals devoid of unneccesary screaming or hardcore shouts. I know some people like this, but that is metalcore, Trivium has turned into a real metal/thrash band and it was a wise decision to drop these silly trends from there music. The vox are awesome by Heafy because he still sings aggressively so as to fit the heavy thrash music, and the need for cookie monster’s apperance in not needed. I always wondered why some band did not try the old Hetfield approach to vox and just sing in an aggressive tone instead of scream and shout. Finally someone has. Thanks Matt!

    Songs like ‘Entrance of the Conflagration’ and ‘Detonation’ totally remind me of Master of Puppets era Metallica and that is so refreshing to hear again. The Choruses of ‘Ignition’ and ‘This World Can’t tear us Apart’ showcase Trivium’s melodic sense. While songs like ‘Tread the Floods’ and ‘The Crusade’ showcase the bands technical ability that blows away the 3 chord altenative bands of the grunge 90’s. Finally the ‘Anthem’ is a fun song that despite a little cheesiness kinda sounds like an anthem for Real Metal’s Triumphant and Pround Return!

    Band’s like Nevermore, Evergrey, Tad Morose, Iced Earth, Brainstorm, and Primal Fear just to name a few, have been carring the flag for true metal for some time. Unfortunately, they have been relagated to the underground due to bigger labels owning the marketing media. I think Trivium will pave the way for all of these bands to explode out of the underground and into the mass acceptance of true metal. They have the big label backing them and the skills to prove it. They might just be the New Old Metallica????

    Posted on January 15, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Trivium in their finest hour can’t compare to legends of the past (Metallica, Megadeth, others.) So to make comparisons like that are completely absurd and completely stupid. This album is above average in my opinion. Not a classic by any means, just a very good metal album, one of the best this year. Also check out Mastodons “Blood Mountain” and War of Ages “Pride of the Wicked”, 2 more good metal acts that will carry the metal torch.

    Trivium has slowly progressed from a simple metalcore act to a superb thrash act, showing signs of breaking away from that trend on Ascendency, incorporating more thrashy and metal elements than their peers. They are now broken farther away from metalcore acts with vocals being tweeked to more of a hardcore/thrash yell/singing. I think this might be their way of weeding out the music fans from the scene kids, start as a simple metalcore act then slowly incorporate REAL music into your songs and see who lasts.

    Trivium is on the verge of a breakout and if you want to use Metallica termage, this album is Trivium’s Ride The Lightning in terms of musical growth I believe. Many may disagree but I think their popularity will decrease because of this album. Most fans wont realize how awesome this album is and jump ship. This is metal kids, whether you like it or not. Metal will never die and Trivium is going to be one of the bands to carry it on.

    A few things I would like to point out.

    1)Trivium is 1000x better than most metal acts out there right now. Unlike most of the metalcore acts with super fast chuggin and double bass pedal galore, Trivium uses those techniques to change the tempo and change song structure. The solos are nothing to laugh about either, showing influence of early trash acts like Slayer and Anthrax. Mean licks abound.

    2) No more gang chants. Track 4 featured a “whoa Whoa whoa” gang chant. That is outdated and really really corny. Gang chants were made famous by the stadium rock and glam/hair rock of the 80’s, where frequently concerts sucked so they used those to get the crowd into it. Cut it dudes. You’re too talented to use those. Let us hear your instruments to get us pumped.

    3) Drums could be toned down a bit. Sometimes I felt the drums took away from the other instruments (bass could have been turned up a bit, but I’m a bass player there is never too much bass) Guitars are also sometimes drowned by the drums.

    4) Give em one or two more albums. They have almost got it. I’m really looking forward to what Trivium will bring us in the future.

    Posted on January 15, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The opinions on this band are pretty much split. People either love or hate them. I’ve seen them live, and they are a great live band. That said, this album is lacking, like the other two.

    We get it, you love Metallica. Even though the previous album had too much core to be good for it, at least they combined core and thrash riffing/soloing, which was an interesting combo. Here, though, they’re trying to bring back Bay Area Thrash and totally lose the core, but they don’t manage either. Most of the time Heafy sounds like a cheap Hetfield imitation, and the rest of the time he’s utterly forgettable. It’s great that he’s stopped the outright core singing, but he can’t quite get over it. A lot of the choruses would fit on Ascendancy. The solos are good and more fitting than on Ascendancy but too short (I think another reviewer mentioned that). A lot of the riffs are thrashy and bring to mind Bay Area, but they’re not distinctive enough. I listened to this album at least five times, and I honestly can’t remember any one riff to distinguish the songs. The lyrics are pretty godawful most of the time, but there are plenty of bands that have idiotic lyrics but still incredible albums (Priest comes to mind). The drumming in the previous album was one of the better parts: on here, it’s pretty generic and forgettable. In the tradition of Ascendancy, there’s one terrible song on here (This World Can’t Tear Us Apart) that seems designed for radio play. The rest are nice to listen to, at least the instrumentation, but aren’t memorable and don’t expand any musical territory at all.

    Speaking of instrumentation: the last track. There are plenty of bands that could pull of instrumental tracks if they tried. Some of the songs on Ascendancy would’ve been better without vocals. This one, though, doesn’t work. It’s just a riff collection. There are plenty of nice riffs, but they don’t flow together at all. This is a great example of how not to do a great instrumental. For opposite examples, see Upcoming Devastation by Destruction, Inquisition Symphony by Sepultura, Call of Ktulu by Metallica, Cosmic Sea by Death (a little more experimental but still illustrates the point), etc. These are how instrumentals should sound – coherent songs that develop ideas they present, just lacking vocals.

    I spent a lot of time talking about what’s wrong with this album. Even so, there’s more good than bad here. Even if the band isn’t doing anything new, it’s nice that they’re bringing back some of the Bay Area sound. If nothing else, kids that hear this may check out classic Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus, Overkill, etc, and it will have done some good. It definitely doesn’t deserve all the hype from magazines and such, and these guys aren’t the saviors of metal. It’s a fun album to listen to, but lacks anything to really set it apart.

    Posted on January 15, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I tried to enjoy this CD — I really did. Despide never being a fan of the nasal emocore vocals, I thoroughly enjoyed Trivium’s last CD (Ascendancy) and was anticipating this one like no other.

    However, when I read an interview in which Matt Heafy said that Trivium’s goal was to “become the next Metallica”, I thought it was a simple metaphor: They wanted to be the band that carried heavy metal to new distances and became almost synonymous with the genre, right? Unfortunately for me (and for my expectations), I was wrong. With this CD, Trivium has sort of fallen off the radar for me. Granted, the CD has their signature shredder guitars and vocals…but it sounds so much like an early Metallica release (with lower mid levels) that I’m terribly disappointed in the guys in Trivium.

    When they said that they wanted to be “the next Metallica”, I didn’t think they meant they were going to become, for all practical purposes, a Metallica cover band. Although the songs are originally written by Trivium, everything from the drum rhythms to the overly-mixed vocals is reminiscent of early Metallica, so much so that I begin to wonder what creativity Trivium has left.

    These guys really had a lot going for them — an original sound, blazing fast guitars, and new melodies. I’m giving “The Crusade” two stars because I think the music sounds good, up until you realize how painfully wannabe it is. Now it’s trying to be “Ride the Lightning” all over again…sadly, it comes across more as Trivium’s own rendition of “St. Anger” Buy it if you’re a Trivium fan, or if you like the singles off the CD. Otherwise, stay clear of this one and cross your fingers that they will find their individuality again.

    Posted on January 15, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Between extensive touring, befriending numerous other bands, and making their new full-length, this young, Orlando-based quartet have barely had a moment’s rest since their exceptional breakthrough album, “Ascendancy,” arrived in stores in March of 2005. And to make life even more difficult, they decided to have the new album ready in time for a late 2006 release date (less than nineteen months after their previous effort was released). I don’t know how they did it, but Trivium managed to find a way to write, rehearse, record and release the new record (entitled “The Crusade”) in time, and they were even able to make it even better than “Ascendancy” (more unique, music-oriented, expansive, and complex). In fact, come year’s end, it won’t be at all surprising to see this C.D. near the top of more than a few “Best Of 2006″ lists.

    Every aspect of Trivium’s music has matured and improved by leaps and bounds. In fact, instrumentally speaking, it doesn’t get much better than this in metal nowadays. The guitarists stitch together gobs of unexpectedly excellent, professional riffs, strong, propulsive leads that evoke Metallica’s heyday (somewhere around 1984’s “Ride The Lightning” and 1986’s “Master of Puppets”), and they even come up with an abundance of technical, ripping solos. The drummer (Travis Smith) is more remarkable, too, because his beats appear to be getting more complicated and energetic.

    Trivium’s twenty-year-old frontman, Matt Heafy, probably saw that his band had made some significant improvements, so he, in turn, honed his own skills. His previous vocal style (prototypical metalcore yells) has been almost completely abandoned in favor of a new, low singing (almost crooning) voice that vividly brings the Metallica frontman (James Hatfield) to mind. Heafy also took time to become educated in and inspired by world events, and as a result, his lyrics on “The Crusade” are about a hundred times more intelligent, poignant, and thought-provoking. Several songs here take on political or taboo (and extremely morbid) subjects, such as governmental leaders and war (of course!), the spread of the AIDS virus, killing for honor, a nameless woman (Andrea Yates, maybe?) who takes her childrens’ lives because she thinks they’re possessed, Matthew Shephard’s murder, being “Hellbent” on world domination, and police corruption (more specifically, the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo).

    But perhaps what’s most impressive about this record is that Trivium are capable of wearing their influences on their sleeves, but they never come across as a terribly unoriginal band. The music evokes thrash’s glory days, but it also features a noticeable modern-sounding side (which is apparent in the acoustic mid-section of the opening track and the faint commercial appeal of songs like “Contempt Breeds Contamination.”) As a whole, “The Crusade” sounds something like Metallica’s guitar chops wrapped in (old) Testament’s melody and topped off with Megadeth-style hooks (circa the “Rust In Peace” era).

    The album opens with five killer cuts. The first two, “Ignition” and “Revelation,” combine to produce a great, memorable one-two punch. Crunchy, punching riffs, pounding drum beats, and pulsating rhythms abound here, and the two songs also share five wailing guitar solos. “Entrance of the Conflagration” is an intense thrasher that bolsters fiery, dueling guitar leads with busy double bass work. Next, “Anthem (We Are The Fire)” is very impressive in how it builds and gains momentum. Much of it is occupied by busy riffing, thumping drums, a propulsive bass line that makes the listener wonder if Dave Ellefson secretly joined the band, and a catchy (though somewhat brief) call-and-response part. The song’s climax, a series of mazey solos, is also quite cool. Lastly, “Unrepentant” keeps the energy flowing with forceful machine gun drums and more propulsive, twin guitar fireworks.

    The next two tracks, “And Sadness Will Sear” and “Becoming The Dragon,” are fairly slow, but “To The Rats,” which is a breakneck roller-coaster ride of blistering riffs, kicks the album back into high gear. Track twelve, “The Rising,” is also of note for its laid back tempo, melodic leads, irresistibly catchy, lurching rhythm, and powerful, fist-pumping, softly chanting vocals. The lyrics to this song, which deal with unity and rioting, prove to be very inspiring and memorable (they might bounce around your head for a couple days).

    Finally, the last track, the title song, almost deserves its own review. It’s an intricate, brilliantly written instrumental piece that symphonically intermingles numerous different tempos, moods, rhythms, and guitar styles (including fast leads, heavy and melodic riffs, a bass solo, and slow strumming). Some truly stellar musicianship is heard throughout this song, making it a perfect way to end the album.

    At this point, you might have the impression that “The Crusade” is a flawless, timeless classic. Well, it’s not — not quite. One thing that it could have benefitted from is having at least one more explosive, unrestrained, attacking-the-jugular climax. Next, while these guitar solos are generally impressive, they’re never very long (twenty seconds is as long they get). And finally, Trivium couldn’t fully extinguish every metalcore cliche: the soaring chorus in “This World Can’t Tear Us Apart” is sweet and heartfelt, but it’s just too trite and unnecessary to work.

    Is it the next “Master of Puppets?” Nah. Is it even the best metal you’ll hear this year? Probably not. But you can bet your bottom dollar that “The Crusade” is a great, entirely solid album (easily Trivium’s best to date), and that it will probably be one of only a handful of “metalcore” era discs that you’ll still be listening to in ten or even twenty years. It’ll likely take several listens before you start hearing this album’s genius, but a lot of great albums take time to fully appreciate. This is a realized, well-played, nearly epic release from a talented young band that’s clearly just beginning to scratch the surface of its full potential.

    Posted on January 15, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now