It's a good thing that most of Metallica have already reproduced because after having their balls ridden this hard by Trivium it'd be a miracle for their testicles to still be functional. To no surprise, on "The Crusade" Trivium's career path has careened from their metalcore beginnings into a full-fledged celebration of late 80's Bay Area thrash metal, complete with a prowl of the same era's Sunset Strip thrown in for good measure.
Plentiful solos, cagey riffing, shouted vocals, cleanly sung choruses and a flat attempt at capturing the hunger of thrash's golden years are all present here. The only thing that really isn't accounted for is the innovation or sense of danger one felt when listening to Trivium's blatantly obvious influences. Talented musicians in their own right through, Trivium do put on a bit of a clinic throughout the albums 13 tracks as faint traces of modern metal gloss over the rough-grained thrash.
But while blazing solo's, fleet-fingered riffing and precise drumming, not to mention a solid bassist, may all be in Trivium's favor, the vocals are contrastingly lackluster. Despite gravitating towards a cleaner singing style, band frontman Matt Heafy still attempts to keep up a husky Hetfield-styled facade. While the technique fits the music, it doesn't stop Heafy's forced harshness from sounding like it came from a bitter cup of green tea rather than years of whiskey and beer binging.
Thankfully Heafy tends to fare better lyrically, with topics running the gamut from politics and homophobia to the just plain laughable; like "To The Rats", which features macho refrains and blunt threats of violence seemingly aimed towards the bands detractors - through other interpretations could also be made. Even with its faults, many will be quick to hail Trivium as the future of American metal.
In fact, many of the old guard have done just that, but when you listen to the recent output of those bands, that doesn't mean they exactly have their finger on the pulse. Basically, as "The Crusade" continues on, one can almost feel like they're listening to a Kidz Bop rendition of thrash metals greatest hits. Yes, the music and lyrics are the same, but it feels watered down and filtered for mass consumption, especially when stacked against the originals.
(2.5 / 5)