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3.44 | 25 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 2006

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Ignition (3:54)
2. Detonation (4:28)
3. Entrance of the Conflagration (4:35)
4. Anthem (We Are the Fire) (4:03)
5. Unrepentant (4:51)
6. And Sadness Will Sear (3:34)
7. Becoming the Dragon (4:43)
8. To the Rats (3:42)
9. This World Can't Tear Us Apart (3:30)
10. Tread the Floods (3:33)
11. Contempt Breeds Contamination (4:28)
12. The Rising (3:45)
13. The Crusade (8:19)

Total Time: 57:32


- Matt Heafy / guitars, vocals
- Travis Smith / drums
- Paolo Gregoletto / bass
- Corey Beaulieu / guitars

About this release

CD released 10th October 2006 on Roadrunner Records (168 618 059-2). Released on Scarecrow Records (SC06296) as CD digipack in Mexico.

Thanks to Bosh66, Unitron for the updates


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Rewind back to the year 2005 and Trivium were pretty much the new big deal in popular metal music. The melodic metalcore act had released their second album entitled Ascendancy to strong acclaim and the accolades were being heaped upon them. Among these accolades was what was a favourite line of praise amongst metal critics at the time, one that was not only used in relation to Trivium but certainly they would become the act most associated with it and thus the subject of a cautionary tale to go with it: that this band was the next Metallica.

Metallica of course was still around in 2005 and still is at the time of writing this review in early 2022. But at the time their most recent album was still St. Anger and in 2005 that was still leaving a bitter taste in many mouths. Many metalheads as such got on board with the idea that Trivium was the next Metallica, even though the band played metalcore. About as many rejected the idea that Trivium was the next Metallica, as the band played metalcore. Trivium actually got more than their fair share of detractors through this association as the next Metallica.

Supporters of the idea were open to the next Metallica being a metalcore band. Trivium were at least a thrash metal influenced metalcore band after all. I suppose it even made a kind of sense that a band who could be as big as Metallica be a metalcore band. It certainly appealed to the younger audiences of the 2000s who were looking for heavy music, such thrash metal had done in the 1980s. The detractors on the other hand were pretty adamant that any next Metallica couldn't possibly be a metalcore band. Metalcore of course being the untrue genre that it is to such people.

Trivium were a pretty fine metalcore band circa Ascendancy. I for one did not even especially care for metalcore by and large, but I did like them. That hasn't changed in the years since to be honest. I still think that Trivium's Ascendancy is a damn good album, metalcore or otherwise. They were a band full of a lot of potential.

The Crusade, their third album from 2006, is what happens when a promising young metalcore band gets called the next Metallica one too many times. They pretty much turn into Metallica.

This was actually the worst possible thing that they could do, even if it did allow them to break into the mainstream (yes, they really did. I bought my copy of The Crusade in Woolworths of all places). One, it pandered to those who seemed to want a new Metallica, making their music largely derivative in the process and two, it was never going to silence the detractors who had issue with the fact the band played metalcore. They now had issue with the fact the band sounded like Metallica. Those people were never going to be happy with anything Trivium did. Trivium could have made the objectively greatest album of all time and those people still would have said it was a steaming pile of shite. So I really hope silencing their detractors wasn't a motivation for Trivium's sudden sound change.

But the only other conclusion is that all those next Metallica accolades went the band's collective heads. And I don't know which is worse really. Either way, the band who made Ascendancy seemed to no longer exist.

Okay, so I'm speculating in both instances here. I don't know the band personally or assume myself to be privy to their motivations. I only have the facts of the matter as I hear them: We have a band who played metalcore who got called the next Metallica a lot and now suddenly plays thrash metal on their next release. I'm not saying that The Crusade sounds like Metallica one hundred percent of the time, as there are still some growled vocals that Metallica never had which harken back to Trivium's previous work. I wouldn't call any aspect of The Crusade metalcore though. It does sound like Metallica probably ninety percent of the time though. The entire situation isn't helped by the vocals. It's perfectly fine to be metalcore band that evolves into a thrash metal band. What's more eyebrow raising about the whole situation is how frontman Matt Heafy suddenly sounded a lot like Metallica's James Hetfield on top of that. His clean singing prior to this was not like that.

None of this is to say that The Crusade is a bad record. It's actually a pretty serviceable thrash metal record. It has its issues, chief among them being it's too derivative of a more popular band, but it's not as if Trivium forgot how to write a good riff whilst high on the next Metallica praise. Most of the time this is very listenable music, with some standout tracks being the opening three plus Becoming the Dragon. It just lacks an identity of its own.

I suppose one could also say that of the metalcore Trivium of 2005, but the difference is that metalcore Trivium was very good at what they did. Thrash metal Trivium, on this album at least, is patchy at best. A glaring issue is highlighted when I think back to how the album was pitched at the time as Trivium maturing as musicians and songwriters, but there's little evidence of that actually here. Imitation may be considered the most sincere form of flattery but it isn't conducive to maturing as a band. There are also aspects of the writing that seem immature, notably the F-bomb loaded To the Rats. A song full of profanity may have seemed cool when I was younger, but these days I associate it with unimaginative writing. Of course this is one of the more growl heavy songs to be featured on the album and a lot of those maturity comments focussed on Heafy switching primarily to clean vocals. The implication being that we metalheads should grow out of liking harsh vocals. I stand by my opinion that this wasn't the leap in maturity that it was supposed to be.

Meanwhile closing title track instrumental is the album's biggest misfire, a clear attempt on the part of Trivium to write a The Call of Ktulu or Orion. It's certainly not a coincidence that Trivium wrote the song to have a similar length to those classics. Only problem for Trivium is that it's not half as good and only really serves as an invitation to end the album prematurely with The Rising. Which is hardly one of its better songs either actually.

Despite these issues, I do somewhat enjoy this album. It's an enjoyment tempered with disappointment whenever I revisit this though. The Crusade was why I lost track of Trivium. I gave the following album Shogun a cursory listen at some point, but never an attentive one. I think it was better, less a carbon copy of Metallica than The Crusade, but by that point they'd lost me. As such I sometimes forget how good Ascendancy was: a special album that holds up well even in 2022. Which is why it sucked that its follow-up was The Crusade. As clone albums go you could do worse than this one. But it is what it is. A huge waste of potential. One day I'll start listening to the Trivium albums released since to see if they ever found their identity again.
The best album Metallica never made?

After releasing Ascendancy, which is now regarded as a classic metalcore album, the band decided to mostly abandon the metalcore sound in favor of thrash metal. Trivium were certainly no strangers to playing thrash, as Ascendancy featured quite a nice blend of metalcore, thrash, and melodic death metal. However, the band apparently never listened to bands that screamed so thought, "Why should we?". So, the band came to thrash.

While this is mostly thrash, the band does draw on classic heavy metal and groove metal at times. Personally, I find it best when they combine thrash with classic heavy metal or groove. A couple great examples are "Anthem (We are the Fire)" and "To the Rats". The former is a great fist-pumping metal anthem, and the latter is a groovy thrash track sounding like a mix of Metallica and Pantera. "Becoming the Dragon", despite sounding a bit too Metallica at times, is certainly also one of the best.

Now, the reason I feel like those aforementioned songs are the best is because they don't sound like pure Metallica worship, which is the majority of the album. Hell, they even have an eight-minute instrumental in the vein of Metallica's instrumentals. Now, I love Metallica and thrash metal is my favorite genre of music, but I'd be lying if I said it isn't annoying when a band sounds almost exactly like another. I kind of have the same issue with Alter Bridge, great musicians, but they just sound too similar to Ra. I'm sure if the vocals were a bit different, it wouldn't be as much of an issue, but vocalist Matt Heafy sounds exactly like James Hetfield in his prime.

However, despite the album sounding too much like blatant Metallica worship at times, there is stuff to enjoy here. If you can separate the two, there are some absolute killer tracks here, such as the more unique songs that I mentioned. If you like thrash and can take some hero veneration, this isn't a bad choice.

Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!
Trivium’s third studio album The Crusade may have divided fan opinion when it was released due to the band moving away from metal core influences and relying more heavily on their thrash metal influences.

Without the screaming vocals, and with much more frequent dual guitar leads the album was different from what fans had been expecting. These days however, The Crusade fits perfectly into the Trivium catalogue thanks to their newer music combining the two styles, and thanks to the passage of time, along with the mixture of this material with the older stuff at Trivium concerts revealing to many quick-to-dismissal fans that the changes which the band had made for The Crusade weren't actually as extreme as people thought at the time.

The Crusade features many great songs, many of which the band still keep in their live set to this day, from ‘Entrance of the Conflagration,’ and ‘Unrepentant,’ to the omni-present single ‘Anthem (We Are The Fire)’ The musicianship is of a very high quality, copious guitar solos, thrash tinged riffs and interesting drum fills make for an interesting listen, while the production is of the highest standard, making the album sound fantastic. Highlights include the ferocious ‘Becoming The Dragon,’ the slow and brooding ‘And Sadness Will Sear,’ and the eight minute instrumental title tack.

To Summarise, don’t be put off by talk of this album not being heavy enough or any talk of selling out, The Crusade is a well written, enjoyable record that is unquestionably worth a chance.
Leading their own crusade, even if critics don't like it.

Trivium is one of those metalcore bands that is really more thrash than metalcore. The Crusade, the band's third effort, takes much more influence from Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax than their last, more "death" based album. However "unoriginal" the album may sound, the band is able to weave a very unique thrash/metalcore sound into all of their albums. This is the first album where we really hear Matt Heady's clean vocals, unlike the growling heard on the previous two. The band weaves a small degree of progressive metal into the music also, making this album especially rather unique and creative.

Ignition cracks open the album with an intense thrash riff and some interesting rhythms backing it. The song is a little bland, without much variation from the riff, except for an intense solo that is extremely short and uninventive. Overall, the song is a rather weak opener, but is still intense and truly metal!

Detonation seems to act as a "part 2" to Ignition, fading in from the ending fade of the last track. The song has a hint of more creativity, but still has that consistent riff-riff-riff style going for it. The does have a tiny amount of dynamic, with a more creative and slightly lengthier solo, which still has intense Metallica influence. The song does modulate to a different section and a different feel, making it slightly more interesting but still not as inventive as it could be (and will be).

Entrance of the Conflagration is the first creative and interesting track on the album. With some cool riffing and synchronization between guitars and some great rhythms, the song has a great instrumental effort. Both lyrically and vocally the song is very interesting, telling the story of a woman who loses her mind to Satan, while trying to live a Christian lifestyle. Again we have a slight dynamic change and a cool synchronized switch off solo between the two guitarists. Overall, the song still lacks the true creativity that the band possesses, but it is still a strong effort.

Anthem (We Are the Fire) is a little bit more of a "breakaway" from the traditional Metallica influence, but it is still present. The song is a little more popularly-accessible leaning, and almost painful to listen to when the strained-sounding swears are thrown into the lyrics. Musically, the song does present some more interesting riffs, but overall it still is a little boring and uncreative.

Unrepentant is by far the most Metallica-influenced track on the album. I mean, I'm pretty sure the opening riff is a Metallica riff. The song has a very Iron Maiden-influenced story base, and some Iron Maiden-influenced soloing also. So, I guess I could say that this song is more like the band's tribute to some of the best metal bands around.

And Sadness Will Sear is the break from the intense thrash metal surrounding it. It really marks a turning point for the album, stopping for the most part the constant Metallica riffs and adding a bit more dynamic and interesting riffs. The song has some cool rhythms and instrumentation, and some great melodies, though they are rough and metalcore. The solo is the first genuinely creative and interesting, making this one of the better songs on the album so far.

Becoming the Dragon is the second great and inventive track, starting the string of the songs that has a more unique to Trivium sound. The riffs on the song are slightly more creative and interesting, making the song also quite interesting.

To The Rats is another supremely Thrash metal song, but it mixes Trivium-esque metal with said Thrash, making a more unique sound. The song is rather unremarkable, however, just adding another song to the album, and can be easily looked over.

This World Can't Tear Us Apart is, in one word, cheesy. I mean it's a metal love ballad. Yes, this song is musically unique and more inventive than most of the other songs on the album, but I can't get over how freakin' cheesy the lyrics are... "all the pain in the world can't stop us now, for we have each other..." I mean seriously, who puts that into a serious metal song? I don't mean to rip on their lyricist's ability to write lyrics, but this is truly comical. Musically, however, the song does have quite a few bright spots, balancing out the song, somewhat. Overall, the song is one of the weaker songs on the album, and has very few bright spots, except for a little more creativity and inventivenes going into music writing.

Tread the Floods is the begging of the build up to the epic conclusion to the album. It has a much more creative riff base, with more technique-based riffing than just quick chugging. The instrumental section is actually really nice, with some really great soloing and fantastic backing tracks. Overall, this song is one of the better and more inventive tracks that lacks creativity dearly.

Contempt Breeds Contamination is the next in the ladder to the epic closer. The song has the same roots as Tread the Floods, with more creative and technically difficult riffing and some more creative instrumental sections. Overall, this track also is one of the better tracks on the album, building up an amazing ending.

The Rising fuses much more traditional hard rock than thrash metal for a really album-unique track. The song has some really interesting quality that sets apart from the rest of the album, and the band's main genre, also. Overall, the song is the final step before the epic ending to the album, and is a great dynamic for the album, also.

Here it is, The Crusade, the magnum opus, and the epic ending to the track. Here we have a track that isn't metalcore at all. This track is progressive metal, as pure as you can make it. An epic 8 minute instrumental, the track contains every tasty element a prog metal head could want, from great polyrhythms to dynamic changes and time signature changes. The song has amazing melody, great rhythms, fantastic instrumentation, and an overall fantastic ride. Overall, the song provides a dose of what the album has severely lacked all the way through. Every member of the band contributes a small piece of their overall instrumental ability, in which all of them have an incredible amount of. Overall, this track is my absolute favorite of the album, the band, and one of my favorite of the genre. It is one of the best closers I have heard in a very long time and certainly the brightest point this album could hope for. Bravo!

ALBUM OVERALL: Overall, this album is for the most part mediocre. As many critics have said, this album seems to be a copy of Metallca. The influence is blatantly obvious, but in no way is it an outright "copy." The album possesses distinct qualities and hints of individuality which sets it apart from the Thrash kings. Although many of the songs do lack any particular spark of creativity, the band is still able to flesh out a great album. The best point, as I pointed out in the track by track review, is the title track, a smashing instrumental that really holds this album above a 2 star review. Overall, this album is good, and is a little better than good, but the avid metal listener should be warned that the album is not the best thing that has ever graced the earth. 3+ stars.

"The Crusade" was condemned by many as merely a replica of Metallica, but I don't see nothing wrong about a band evolving to a much better phase under the influence of their heroes. I have listened to their previous efforts and didn't found them as interesting as this one, and even though their latest album, "Shogun", shown a balance combination of these three records , I still think this album is by far their best effort, but that's probably because my ears were designed for the old-school Bay Area rifftastic fest.

"Ignition", "Detonation", and "Anthem" are exquisite friendly tracks with "Entrance of The Conflagration" standing high as my favourite track of the album. A little sloppy on several songs but grew stronger on "To The Rats" and "This World Can't Tear Us Apart". This album was perfectly closed with the epic-moment of the instrumental title track which can become "The Call of Ctulu" of Trivium.

If you like classic thrash that's gently mixed with heavy metal and a slight progressive formula, you'll probably like this one, and I suggest don't you give a damn about the harsh critic about how Heafy sounded a lot like Hetfield because I think this is much better than listening to Metallica's Load-era that had turned them from thrash to trash.

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