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Trivium’s debut album “Ember to Inferno” turned a lot of heads, to say the least. The young Florida natives have managed to do a lot since then. The band is now on Roadrunner Records and has done several large-scale tours. Now, Trivium are back with their second full-length release and their first on Roadrunner, titled “Ascendancy.”
These guys are some of the most talented musicians I’ve heard in a long time. “Ember to Inferno” was a masterpiece that set a very high precedent for the band. This is a band that I genuinely want to see go as far as they possibly can, and believe me – they can go as far as they want to. That’s why “Ascendancy” is a hugely important release for Trivium. Coming off of such a successful and brilliant album like “Ember to Inferno” is a tough task to take on. This is an album that could quite honestly make or break them.
Well folks, this album should further establish them as one of the best young bands in all of metal. Trivium has simply done it again. They’ve managed to come out with a mind-blowing album that is going to push them higher and higher. An intro titled “The End of Everything” gets the album started. The subtle keyboards and acoustic guitar parts that this intro track display are quite the illusion. Once the first song “Rain” kicks into high gear, you know you’re about to be taken along for a ride. “Rain” is a vicious beginning to the album and sets a feverish pace that the band will maintain throughout this disc. Next is “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr,” a song that displays how diverse Trivium can be. It’s loaded with brutality and breakneck speed, but has just as much melody. This song should go down as one of the band’s classic tracks, hands down. If you want a healthy dose of melodic metal, look no further than the title track. You can easily hear the melodic death metal influence of classic In Flames material and the like in this song. The combination of masterful guitar work and soothing melodic overtones are unbelievable in this song. The solo at 2:25 of the song also displays the technicality of Trivium, which is an attribute that you don’t see enough of these days. If you want another song that should go down as a classic, check out “Like Light to the Flies.” This is my personal favorite song of Trivium’s. It straightforwardly shows how good this band can be. I can listen to this song over and over again (believe me, I have.) “Dying In Your Arms” is song that displays the harmonious side of the band. It’s a short song, but as powerful as they’ve made. It’s also one of the catchiest on the album and should please a wide variety of people. This song is followed by “The Deceived,” a song that is yet another work of art. The pace and overall tone of this song is something to behold.
The production on the album is solid, with everything sounding as it should be. “Ascendancy” is as good of a progression from “Ember to Inferno” as anybody could wish for. The band already possessed maturity far beyond their years, and that is furthered on this album. Every song is so tight musically. You couldn’t get tighter if you were wearing spandex pants that are two sizes too small. The band’s songwriting also has advanced, as every song flows along well and possesses immaculate structure. Individual improvements are aplenty as well on “Ascendancy.” Guitarist/lead singer Matt Heafy’s vocals have taken a big step forward. Especially with his clean singing. The clean parts have more power and grip than on “Ember to Inferno,” which is absolutely amazing, considering how brilliant Heafy was on that album. Travis Smith’s work on the drum kit is improving as well. There’s a lot of variety in his playing – even more so than on “Ember to Inferno” – and he’s only going to keep getting better. Every member of the band really stepped up for this album, and I can’t say that I’m surprised. With a band as talented as this, excellence is to be expected.
Trivium is one of the best young bands in metal today. “Ascendancy” further proves that fact and should elevate them to even bigger heights. As I said before, these guys can go as far as they want to go. With music like this, they’re going to get as big as they want to be. This is an album that should be in everybody’s collection. If it isn’t, then you know what to do. Go buy it! This album is close to perfection, but the thing is, I think we’ve yet to seen the best of what Trivium has to offer. Remember, this is only their second album and I expect them to reach gigantic heights.