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Trivium | Crusade | review | metal | Lollipop
by Martin Popoff
It's disheartening, the politics that reigns down upon one when approaching a high-stakes, controversial, career metal album like this one. The haters say Trivium is too young, that they haven't paid their dues, the label's got heavy interest in what it is said, and the ironies of trendiness are multiple. Trivium is a post-metalcore band of guys almost too young to be metalcore, impatiently leaving metalcore for something new, which is basically a heavy emphasis on the old. I've played - and enjoyed playing - Crusade many, many times now, and one impression still stands: This sounds like Death Angel with the smarminess of Mordred, The Organization, and later Exodus (and any Under One Flag band circa '89), with material a little closer to conservative thrash circa Master of Puppets, that last an easy trap cuz Matt Heafy is singing more Hetfield-like than ever.
But the brains and tongue-in-cheek aspect of Wolf or Witchery or a good redneck metal band like Brand New Sin or Bible Of The Devil is ingrained here as well. These guys are a walking encyclopedia of classic thrash riffs, and thus have churned out about 60 of their own, again with the impetuousness of youth, this idea that there's a hurry on to make them quick, catchy, but technical enough to keep their busy minds occupied. What'll make this album additionally controversial is the gheyness of some of the clean singing. I say some, because it's integrated well into "And Sadness Will Sear," but then sounds like a spliced-in metalcore tip'n'trick elsewhere. Also, some of the lyrics are a little catch-phrasey.
This is one interest-keeping, constantly-shifting, well-written 1988 thrash record, packed tight like a grenade with alchemical and chop-shop speed metal playing. Most of the grooves are brisk, some (like "This World Can Tear Us Apart") daring to be rockist and believing of the press. But something like "Tread The Floods" or "Contempt Breeds Contamination" is all cockles-warming metal, while "The Rising'"sounds like heavy Dokken. Again, just another surprise in a long, involved, flashy record stuffed with eventfulness.