Trivium’s Controversial 2006 Album The Crusade Got More Shit Than it Deserved
Trivium’s third album, The Crusade, was gonna ruffle feathers no matter what was on it. The band had already pissed off all the resident Old Men In The Room with their explosive Roadrunner debut, Ascendancy, which brought them a rapid rise to stardom at a very young age. Old Men do not like when young whippersnappers shake shit up.
But The Crusade reeeeeeally pissed folks off, especially because of its alleged blatant Metallica worship. Bassist Paolo Gregoletto reminded Twitter this morning that The Crusade was released 13 years ago today, so I decided to take the album for the first spin I’d given it in years.
And you know what? There are really only a couple songs that scream Metallica worship. It probably didn’t help matters at the time that one of those, “Ignition,” is the album’s opener. But its follow-up, “Detonation,” is classic Trivium, an aggressive verse that mixes all sorts of metal styles and leads to a big ol’ melodic chorus. “Anthem (We are the Fire)” is more friggin’ Motley Crue than anything. “This World Can’t Tear Us Apart,” essentially a ballad, has NOTHING to do with Metallica. Even when things do veer into Metallica territory — the riffing on “Entrance of the Conflagration,” for example — hindsight allows us clear vision to see that all the classic Trivium elements are here, too. “To the Rats” begins with one of the best riffs James Hetfield never wrote, but it isn’t long before the chorus steers us firmly into Trivium’s own territory, and this song has brutal fuckin’ screams, too, fer chrissakes. One might make the argument that Matt Heafy’s vocal approach on this record took a very Hetfield-like affectation — and one might be correct — but once again, hindsight proves that he also simply sounded like himself. And let’s be honest, is there a single band in all of metal since 1991 that HASN’T been inspired by Metallica in some way?
The Crusade is a solid record with stellar musicianship and tip-top songwriting. It shouldn’t have the runt of the litter status that’s been bestowed upon it. Give it a rip below, and see whether your opinion has changed in the past 13 years.