Hardly any other band has had such a shooting star career of late as young Americans TRIVIUM. Especially their last, very Metalcore-influenced album “Ascendancy“ had received much acclaim. With “The Crusade” we now have the third album of the band, according to legend the famous “Make it, or break it” album.
In any way “The Crusade” has turned out to be a big surprise. Who had expected another Metalcore album will be either disappointed or delighted. TRIVIUM have turned into METALLICA clones. But in the case of TRIVIUM the word clone has to be viewed as positive. The Metalcore shouts have turned into vocals like James Hetfield and the sound also is a lot more neo Thrash metal. If METALLICA had released an album such as “The Crusade” after their black album, nobody would have been really disappointed. Despite the at times extreme similarities TRIVIUM still keep their own style. The guitars are still very melodic in their solos and still contain some harmonies of the IRON MAIDEN school. The riffing is damn cool and kudos to the drummer for his variable play. Vocally singer Matt does not only drive the new Hetfield style, but also kept his clear vocals, which are mostly used during the more melodic parts.
Song wise “The Crusade“ contains several true grenades. Opener “Ignition“ is a small hit that has heaviness as well as melodies and convinces with a nice chorus. “Anthem (We Are The Fire)“ or “The Rising“ are true shout along hymns, which live should result in shaking venues and “The Crusade“ is a top notch Metal instrumental. These are only a few songs from this truly strong album, but the other tracks also are absolutely satisfying. After a few repeated listens the hit character becomes bigger and bigger. As far as the sound goes I must say that I had liked “Ascendancy” a bit better, as it portrayed the energy of the band a bit better, the sound of “The Crusade“ is less crunchy, which can deter my overall impression only a little, though.
I personally prefer “The Crusade“, as the band has moved away from Metalcore and shows a far bigger Heavy Metal influence. Of course the band will have to fight with the accusations of being a METALLICA clone, but the really strong songs should silence all the critics. If METALLICA would still sound like TRIVIUM, they would still be the undisputed kings of Metal. But as this is not the case, I prefer TRIVIUM nowadays. A really strong album that deserves your attention.
Check out tips: “Ignition”, “Anthem (We Are The Fire)”, “The Rising”...
(Online December 8, 2006)