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Each day there seems to be a new metalcore act getting their video frequented on MTV and getting a spot on Ozzfest. The popularity of the scene exploded, and resulted in many new bands being described as groundbreaking and awesome. These guys, Trivium, are worshipped as the new deal after Shadows Fall, Killswitch and Lamb of God.
Mainman Matt Heafy has often been described as a guitar god. Maybe he is in terms of sheer wanking, but songwriting is clearly lacking here. This seems to hold a decent amount of promise in the first half minute or so of opener "Rain" that actually has a guitar driven rhythm. Not surprisingly, at 0.30 it fades to the usual metalcore pattern. Boring repetitive rhythms and generic barking. Oh, and did I mention that the clean vocals suck? I can deal with singing like Shadows Fall's that's just kind of mediocre at times but this is grating.
Second song even skips having a decent intro. It's pretty mediocre, having a total Arch Enemy "Wages of Sin" vibe. And you know what Arch Enemy plus hardcore means? Yes, this sounds like Killswitch Engage. These riff packages have been heard approximately one zillion times before. What's even worse is that they keep playing a couple of really generic "riffs" that are even more boring under the vocals, who are once again monotone as hell. The cleans are a bit less atrocious, still far from even being okay.
The album tends to fade even more the longer one listens, as the two first songs actually are the "good ones". Every song tends to sound just like the last one, despite the fact that Trivium actually has judgement enough to somewhat mix up the song lengths. Generic this undeniably is.
In the end, my listening to "Ascendancy" was a waste of time. I've heard this many times before and I by no means want to hear it again. Metalcore may work as gateway music for newbies or for listening in very small doses. Even if my intent was one of those things, I would pick one of the few decent acts. Trivium is not one of them.