Trivium The Crusade

Rising out of nowhere and becoming one of the most hyped acts in metal, Florida’s Trivium have, over the course of three albums, become a band everyone has a strong opinion about. And man, mine isn’t good. I want to like them, I did like them, but with each album they seem to get cheesier. Those Hetfield vocals are ludicrous — imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, yes, and these guys make no bones about their Metallica fixation. And some songs, such as "Detonation,” can carry the might, power and majesty of classic thrash; other tunes just make me feel kind of awkward. Opener "Ignition” has an unbelievably annoying vocal line, and the album eventually ends up feeling like a local bar band worshipping at the altar of Maiden and Metallica. But the duel melodies sound trite, the vocals are nothing if not problematic, and the whole thing is way too long. A truly kick-ass tune appears in "Anthem (We Are the Fire),” which makes me think these guys really could be the next Metallica. But with everything about The Crusade sounding so careful and planned, St. Anger suddenly sounds like a refreshing idea after all. (Roadrunner)