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Trivium were viewed as a prodigy. The new ‘Metallica’, the metal saviour, and this album, “Ascendancy” was to be their hyped-up masterpiece. For some, this was everything and more, but to me, I find it run-of-the-mill metal.
The album consists of eleven songs (plus an intro) yet not one of them can really distinguish itself from the rest. The usual ‘verse-chorus-verse-chorus’ is rinsed and repeated throughout the entire disc and the clean sung choruses run riot from start to finish. This is Trivium’s downfall, their lack of innovation to try and provide something more than the standards of this genre.
“Pull harder on the strings of your martyr” was sent around the net and appeared on numerous Roadrunner sample discs given out. It was the lead in track for the album and many listeners were instantly hooked. One of them being myself, for the track contains all the thrash/metalcore elements you would want. The powerful drum intro, the throaty vocals and the wonderful chorus. This track and a few praising words from the press was enough to lull the masses into purchasing the album, yet, what wasn't shown was the lack of ideas that filled the remainder of the disc. Of course, the majority of the tracks contain fairly infectious choruses coupled with the ‘never-changing’ rough vocals, but by the time your reach the last two songs it all becomes much of a muchness. The only light between the similar tracks is the short, yet terribly catchy “Dying in your arms”. To many this can be the lowlight for it displays the more commercial side of Trivium, but for me it is welcome relief. The only other track that deserves mention is “Like light to flies”. Another typical Trivium tune, but one of the better ones.
The tracks on “Ascendency” may be consistent with each other, but it is the lyrics of Matt Heafy that need revision. The songs are there to display emotion and more importantly aggression, but the lyrics don’t have to be as plain. “Fuck their ways it is time to break free, fuck their hate acceptance is what we need”. If I was deaf, I would say this band was nu-metal. The whole album is riddled with weak lyrics that leave a lot to be desired. “Tie the noose around my neck, make this life end”.
To dwell on just the negatives of the album would not be fair, for “Ascendancy” overall is not too bad. Besides from similar song structures and weak lyrics, it does provide listeners with catchy and sometimes memorable choruses, it just doesn’t reach the hype surrounding it before it was unleashed. The tracks are solid from beginning to end which is more than some bands can offer, and hence a score of 82 is given.