TRIVIUM – Ascendancy


Release date: March 15, 2005

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The melancholy melody “The End of Everything” ushers in Trivium’s second effort, Ascendancy, and the angelic choruses do indeed sound like they are rising towards the heavens. “Rain” comes crashing down with a vicious onslaught of snarling vocals and raw guitars. But just then, the clean vocals break in, revealing the band’s schizophrenic style. This identity crises plagued them on their debut Ember to Inferno, with the group straddling the barbed wire fence that separates Hardcore and Melodic Metal.

They may be better served to yield to the hard side, since their drummer’s solid, jackhammer percussion is among the band’s stronger suits. Likewise, the vocal shrieks are more appealing that the rather tepid, undistinguished clean vocals. The band’s guitar work also shines more brightly on the shredding side, delivering crunching chord progressions. But leadwise, Tipton and Downing they are not.

Trivium’s more promising moment, however, is the largely Classic Metal based “A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation”, with it’s ‘hey hey’ shouting in the bridge that will certainly get the leather and stud wrapped wrists in the crowd punching the smoky venue air.

The band ends the set on a very strong note with the almost Pantera-styled pounder “Declaration”. But, Trivium desperately needs to decide which direction they wish to move forward with, and then drop the disparate elements from their style. Dropping the clean vocals and forging a heavier sound would likely best showcase their abilities.


  • Stig G. Nordahl

    Stig is the founder and the president of Metal Express Radio, based out of Oslo, Norway. He has been around doing Metal radio since the mid-eighties. In fact, running Metal Express Radio takes almost all of his time. Is it worth it...? "Most times, yes," Stig says. "My philosophy is to try to give all Metal releases a fair chance to get promoted in one way or another. As you can imagine, it can be an arduous task to listen through about 20 albums every week! Still, I know we have the best METAL dedicated radio on this planet, and that is a reward in and of itself. I hope one day the whole Metal community can and will make listening to Metal Express Radio part of their daily rituals! Yeah, right..."

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