“The Crusade” by Trivium

Artist: Trivium
Title: “The Crusade”
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 10/10/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

It is only a minute or two into ones listen of the new Trivium album that you will feel as though you are listening to a new release by Metallica. This might scare you if you were expecting the garbage that was released on the fans with “Reload” or “St. Anger”, but instead we find the hunger and fire that was the body and soul of “Master Of Puppets” and “Ride the Lightning”. The problem is that this new Metallica album does not come from them at all and is instead the sound of the new release by Matt Heafy and his colleagues in Trivium. The group was a fast rising star with their Roadrunner Records debut “Ascendancy”, and the growls and grinding guitar work was nothing less than in your face on every track. This time around, the group focused on the melody and musicianship a little more as opposed to the earlier formula and the result gives you one of the best sounding releases in Metal for 2006. It is as powerful, if not more so than their last album and you find this from the opening number “Ignition”. If you are like many listeners, you will shake your head at the uncanny resemblance Heafy has in voice to James Hetfield right off the bat. This is not a one-song trick as it’s maintained throughout the album and while I loved the killer guitar work as well, I had to tip the cap to drummer Travis Smith who is thundering across every single song with tasty double-bass patterns and intricate snare/tom work. The record brings back a time when Thrash Metal reigned as King in the genre and Trivium was always a band that referenced the Gods of the day (Testament, Metallica, etc.) and while this is a bar for bar homage to those leaders the album still comes off as fresh and exciting to anyone hungry for pure Metal.

Trivium was lucky to be part of many killer tours such as Children Of Bodom and In Flames among many others, and it was this touring that I think added to the bands ability to raise their skills up several levels on the musical bar. Tracks of note are definitely the old school tinged “Anthem (We Are The Fire)” and “The Entrance Of The Conflagration”. This particular track easily sounds like a missing number from Metallica’s “And Justice For All”. They ever give you another slightly commercial track with “This World Cant Tear Us Apart” and this is a number that might find some safe haven on radio stations that allow Metal to be part of the programming. Heafy is not all “Hetfieldized” however, and uses his clean vocals to some measure as well when he can. What I think listeners who enjoy the band already can take from this is the inspiration from the old days and perhaps finding themselves inspired as Trivium was. The old school fans can find pleasure in the knowledge that some newer bands have not forgotten the importance of that which came before them. It’s an excellent album that I think anyone will find himself or herself playing repeatedly. Good job on this one guys – Hey Matt, James Hetfield wants his voice back.

Track Listing:
1. Ignition
2. Detonation
3. Entrance Of The Conflagration
4. Anthem (We Are The Fire)
5. Unrepentant
6. And Sadness Will Sear
7. Becoming The Dragon
8. To The Rats
9. This World Can’t Tear Us Apart
10. Tread The Flood
11. Contempt Breeds Contamination
12. The Rising
13. The Crusade

Official Website: http://www.trivium.org

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