Feature: Trivium's "Ascendancy" Turns 10
Tue, 31 Mar 2015 20:20:55
Trivium’s Ascendancy is now ten-years-old. After a decade, it stands out as one of the 21st century’s seminal metal records. Following Ember to Inferno, the group unleashed its first album for Roadrunner Records. In some ways, they approached the record with the label’s legacy and history in mind, crafting a body of work to stand proudly alongside such debuts as Machine Head’s Burn My Eyes, Slipknot’s Slipknot, and the countless other classics to be released under that banner. Moreover the Florida band had their state’s legacy to uphold. This is the place that gave us entries into the musical lexicon as diverse as Deicide and Limp Bizkit. Ascendancy also faced a strange scene. It was a world of metalcore. The juggernauts of the last age had passed, and no one had properly picked up the mantle for the real heavyweights like Metallica, Pantera, and Slayer. As a result of all this, Trivium collectively pulled it together to create a game-changer.
Ascendancy broke ground for a few reasons. First of all, it coupled a cognizance of epic thrash with a hardcore energy and knack for arena-size melodies. Simply put, nothing else sounded like it—to this day that claim holds true. The ominous classical piano of “The End of Everything” immediately ramped up into a swirling storm of deft harmonies and succinctly potent guitars on “Rain.” “Pull Harder at the Strings of Your Martyr” stills feels utterly massive as it showcases the singular spirit powering this beast. They bared their teeth on “Drowned and Torn Asunder,” but it was the likes of “Like Light to the Flies” that really illuminated their brilliance and the potential to expand even beyond the confines of metal, which they’d do on In Waves and Vengeance Falls. We also got a taste of the epic progression at the heart of the incredible Shogun on the closing salvo of “Departure” and “Declaration.”
There were riffs and solos worthy of metal’s pantheon and hooks perfect for radio. There’s a reason why the album eventually moved more than 500,000 units worldwide and going Gold in the UK where they quickly became gods amongst press, and Kerrang! even dubbed it “album of the year.”
Moreover, it’s extremely significant for the fact that it vaulted Trivium into the 21st century vanguard, where they’ve stayed and only further solidified their legacy. However, it always feels like the best is yet to come from this band. That said, let’s celebrate the power of Ascendancy, while collectively preparing for their next landmark out later this year.
Check out our exclusive interview between Matt Heafy of Trivium and David Draiman of Disturbed!