. A metal boyband? A flash in the pan? True
saviours of modern metal or an amalgamation of all the ingredients needed to make soulless music in a popular style? Well, the future will undoubtedly allow some important hindsight, and maybe they will turn out to be a classic outfit and revered. Maybe not. What is important is evaluating what they produce here and now, and before I hear their newest release ‘Shogun
’ I wanted to review ‘The Crusade
’, their third album and their ‘Master
of Puppets’ first.Well, that isn’t a fair comparison, comparing something contemporary to such a classic release but there are definitely similar points. Matt Heafy’s voice is now so Hetfield-esque it hurts. The arrangements and writing is of a similar standard of complexity but whereas Metallica
achieved this with dazzling results, Trivium
’s attempt seems to be a mixture of cobbled together riffs that all seem rather similar, like you’ve heard them before. ‘And Sadness Will Sear
’ sounds like a collection of riffs Nevermore left on their studio floor, and ‘Anthem
(We Are the Fire
)’ has a painful live Metallica
style ‘Whoa Whoa’ singalong section that works in an arena with 50,000 people but on record sounds tacky and boring.
It is also a shame that Heafy seems to have left his metalcore scream on ‘Ascendancy
’, and the band have moved from metalcore breakdowns to pure straightforward thrash, however impressive some of the riffing sections are. ‘Ignition’ and ‘Detonation
’ are good opening tracks, but the vocals and attempt at trying to write some socially aware lyrics begin to grate very quickly and by the time ‘Anthem
…’ begins at track 4, it has already become very old. The whole album leaves you with the feeling of deja vu, like you’ve heard this style and riffing before but better done. And
‘This World Can’t Tear Us Apart’ is just ‘Dying in Your Arms
’ rewritten, whatever the band may claim. It contains the same radio-friendly massive choruses and sound that ensured its predecessor was a big hit for the kids.
I have heard better things of ‘Shogun
’, but after two good to great metalcore albums ’From Ember to Inferno
’ and ‘Ascendancy
’, ‘The Crusade
’ was a pretty big let down. Poor lyrics, rehashed thrash riffs and ideas and an almost copyright infringing vocal performance make this one to miss. Pick up ‘Ascendancy
’ if you want to hear how good this band can be.