TRIVIUM — The Crusade (review)

TRIVIUM — The Crusade album cover Album · 2006 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
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.

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