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on June 13, 2006
This album was the first real metal album that I listened to. It is really what turned me into the metalhead that I am today. A friend told me about this band when he first heard their drummer, Travis Smith, laying down just about the fastest double kicking he'd ever heard. As he described it, Travis Smith had "feet on steroids". I checked them out, and at first, I had thought there was too much screaming. However, I then began to look into other metal bands, such as my current favorite, Opeth, and somehow began to appreciate this newly discovered style of music. This CD deserves five stars because of the rare, wonderfully clean vocals of Matt Heafy, and also because of the consistent guitar harmonies. Some may say it is 'not the first album to use clean vocals on the chorus', but yes, we know that, it isn't. Trivium's 'Ascendency' may not be the first to use clean vocals, but I think they do it very well, in fact, better than most other bands. Even though the whole CD is near flawless, here are some of my absolute favorite tracks ( Yes, I know that they are mostly all together, but thats just the way the CD goes ) :

2. Rain - I'd call it a tie for my favorite between this song and Drowned and Torn Asunder. The constant, blazing double kick assault is really what makes this song. I especially like the end of the song where there is a major tempo change and Heafy sings, "Swallow every blasphemy. Eat out your heart and make it bleed."
3. Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr - Great lead-in by Travis on this song. The vocals on this track are very fierce, and the chorus is one of my favorites.
4. Drowned And Torn Asunder - Superior vocals on the chorus, the best on the album. Great double kicking once again during the verses.
5. Ascendency - Not much lyrics to this song, but it is still a thriller. The intro will send chills down your spine. Matt is spilling his guts during the verses.
6. A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation - Wow, one of the best guitar solos that I have ever heard. This song is probably the heaviest on the album, which makes a nice break-up in the material.
12. Declaration - A PERFECT closer. Gotta love that signature Travis Smith 16th note assault on the kick drum. Probably the most meaningful lyrics on the CD, too. The whole song is just amazing. Period.

So, really, in conclusion, if you are new to metal and need an introduction, I recommend this CD. It is probably the best place to start for anyone. Hell, even if you're not just starting up, it's still a really great album to add to your collection. I'd place "Ascendancy" among my top 10 favorites of all time. Also, look for their new album when it hits the racks this fall. Thank you for your time.
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on June 23, 2005
Wow, just wow. This cd blew me away. Only about 3 or 4 cds have ever been able to impress me as much as Trivium's Ascendancy. If you like metal. I recommend this. This is NOT metalcore. This is just straight up metal. With such emo/pop/punk crap filling the radio today, it may seem like no band would ever come back and redeem bands who have just sold their souls for a few bucks, Metallica, Megadeth etc etc. If Trivium can release atleast 3 more cds as good as this they will be the next Metallica, end of story. Here is my personal opinion on the song's for this album.

The End of Everything - 4/5 a mellow acoustic intro song. Gets you excited for the album.

Rain - 5/5 first full length song and can you say mind blowing? This song just comes out with some awesome guitar work and kicks your ass.

Pull Harder On The Strings of Your Martyr - 20/5 I'm listening to this song right now and it is simply one of the best metal songs I have heard in a long time. A true metal anthem right here. Everything is perfect in this song.

Drowned and Torn Asunder - 5/5 First thirty seconds or so are a bit mellow, then it starts to speed up. The singer has a great singing voice when he uses it.

Ascendancy - 4/5 When this song started it didn't impress me much but as it goes on it just gets better and better.

A Gunshot To The Head of Trepidation - 5/5 Newest single from this album and all I can say is killer guitar work! Even though these guys are young, they know what they're doing.

Like Light To The Flies - 5/5 Mesmerizing song, I love the drums on this song.

Dying In Your Arms - 4.5/5 What does every great metal album need? a ballad of course and that is what this song is. A good one at that. Melodic guitar work and good singing make this track quite impressive.

The Deceived - 4.5/5 How does Trivium follow up after a ballad? An awesome some which has heavy and melodic parts, the guitar in the chorus just is incredible.

Suffocating Sight - 6/5 Another favorite of mine, I love how it goes from melodic singing to a straight up mosh pit anthem

Departure - 5/5 This song starts out with more incredible guitar work, followed by some acoustic guitar, with vocals to match the atmosphere.

Declaration - 6/5 Vocal/lyrics wise, this is one of the best here. "I'll be right here, falling away fighting on principle. I'll die 1,000 times before i'll ever be them!!!!"

To end this, this cd is amazing. Plain and simple. If you love metal and its many many forms I can NOT reccomend this enough. Now what the hell are you doing still reading this!?!? Go out and buy it. Enjoy.
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on March 15, 2005
A friend of mine at work showed me this band, he saw them on tour with It Dies Today. I thought they were pretty good, fast, hard, but still melodic and technical in the guitar work, which is perfect when pulled off. So I got Ember to Inferno. That cd really caught on. The first 2 tracks were the best probably, and the rest still shone. When I heard that Ascendancy was coming out in two weeks, I was like, killer, I find a new band and i get 2 times the material. I went to Trivium's site one day and watched the 'Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr' video, and from the drum opening i was like "wow these guys have definitely grown, if that is possible." This song was AMAZING. So in your face with the riffs, and Matt's vocals and drums, it blew my mind. And then the solo. Good heavens, the solo. I had always enjoyed the shredding work of legends like Zakk Wylde and Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, but good god, these guys BLEW MY MIND. The solo for that song alone became my new favorite guitar solo ever. I listened to that song over and over again. I just had to get the cd, and boy did it do Trivium justice. Not only is this the best metal record recently (along with 2003's Waking the Fallen by Avenged Sevenfold), it is probably one of the greatest metal records we will see in our time. The solos are blistering, very reminiscent of Zakk Wylde (who in my opinion is the best guitarist of all time), and they are so young, they have so many more albums to pour out for us. So you're probably saying, why waste my time with this new Roadrunner band, they're probably nu-metal. But they are bringing metal to a whole other level with their dark, but melodic breed of metalcore. All of their songs are unique, and oh so talented. My favorite still remains "Pull harder..." but every one is a gem. Even the opening track sounds cool and eerie. For any rock fan, this is a mandatory cd to check out, and i've been listening to rock all my life. The guitars are some of the best ever, the drums are very good, and the singing is also unbelievable. Props to Trivium for making the best record in AGES, and I hope that they get famous, and if they do, they dont sell out, because this is the kind of music American culture should recognize.
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on March 18, 2005
The first track that I heard off of this new CD, "Like Light to the Flies", quite a while back, made me assume that it was going to be alot like "Ember to Inferno", some shiny moments with a rather repetitive nature. After "The End of Everything", the opening track, this album just cries out greatness with an effort so coercive and ear catching, that it makes you want to pump your fist in the air and bow down to the greatness of such a young and talented metal superpower. Trivium casts off an awful lot of doubts from fans out there and shows how great they really are right now, and how bright the future is for them. Trivium has come an awful long way since the release of "Ember".

First off, this music will remind a lot of people of old Metallica and other bay area thrash acts. Then, it pushes in some great Euro-influence (Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity) to add a whole new dimension to an American metal sound that, in many ways, has long since died. The solos on this CD are as devastating as one written by Children of Bodom, yet they are clean and technically flawless like a Kirk Hammett or Dave Mustaine style solo. This CD has so much retro character and modern appeal that it will send fans into headbanging fits for hours. Some standout surprises, not including my favorite track "Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr", include "A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation" (which sounds like something off of "Ride the Lightning" with alot of modern metalcore appeal) and "Dying in Your Arms" (a new age, power metal type ballad that has too much power to even be thought of as a ballad),heck the whole CD stands out immensely. This is mainly because you just don't hear newer metal bands write music like this anymore. They concentrate too much on being harsh and heavy (works for a short period of time), but not subtle, technical, and musical. This alone sets Trivium apart from most of the other bands that are out there right now.

The masters behind the name Trivium are, quite possibly, the best in the business at this present time. Matt Heafy is a spectacular vocalist and a just as awesome guitarist. He cranks out some of the greatest solos that one could imagine at this era in metal for someone as young as he is. Corey Beaulieu is just as good as any Dave Mustaine or Kirk Hammett, in fact better in so many ways. Travis and Paolo are two great instrumentalists that complete this metal superpower in the most perfect way. Metal fans be warned, there is no one better than Trivium out there, right now. Imagine how great these guys will be in another five years.

I know that the Grammy voters have something against modern metal, but this is an album that really should not be overlooked. To do so would be a crime in my eyes.
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on March 16, 2005
people end up saying this about a lot of records, but it's coming straight from my heart- i am in love with this record lol. it's heavy, it's melodic, the vocals are AMAZING, and the drumming is nothing short of jaw dropping. here's a synopsis of the cd

1. everything ends (10/10)- an incredible instrumental, very melodic and haunting

2. rain (10/10)- fast and heavy, and the breakdown in the end is very mosh-worthy

3. pull harder on the strings of your martyr (100/10)- by far the best song on this record, it's heavy and chorus is very melodic, and the solo is amazing. the lyrics are also powerful

4. drowned and torn asunder (10/10)- nothing short of perfect, the chorus has some of the best melody on the cd

5. ascendency (10/10)- this title track is one of the best title tracks ive ever heard in my life.

6. gunshot to the head of trepidation (10/10)- starts off with all out heavy metal, and at the end it goes into a melodic, old-school metal kind of thing, and i love it!

7. like light to the flies (50/10)- the first trivium song i ever heard, and once i heard it, they instantly became one of my favorite bands. it's that good!

8. dying in your arms (10/10)- probably the most poppy song on the cd. the melodies are upbeat but the lyrics are crazy

9. the deceived (69/10)- also a favorite track of mine on the cd. i like this version better than the one on their limited edition of ember to inferno

10. suffocating sight (9/10)- probably one of my least favorites on the album, but it's still amazing. the breakdowns in it are cool

11. departure (10/10)- the acoustic guitar in this song is beautiful

12. declaration (10/10)- an awesome way to end the record. i like how they address issues of racial equality, and discrimination agaisnt homosexuality, awareness does need to be spread.

well there ya go! one of the best metal albums ever written! if you like in flames, dark tranquillity, children of bodom, killswitch engage, shadows fall, or unearth, you'll fall in love. and if you havnt heard of ANY of these bands, still pick it up, because it WILL change you
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on May 11, 2005
That kid below me knows nothing about this release. This band actually tends to stand out. It's kind of a mix of Avenged Sevenfold and All That Remains, along with some of their unique elements in it. "Like Light To The Flies", the first video single, is a great track that may sound like All That Remains at first, but it's not that bad of a track. Besides, bands don't completely rip off of other bands. For example, take Zao and As I Lay Dying. You may think that As I Lay Dying's "Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes" may sound like Zao's "Where Blood And Fire Bring Rest" at first, but take another listen and you will find some differences in the sound. The second video single, "Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr", appeals more to me than "Light Like To The Flies", as the opening drum line really gets things going. "A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation" is the band's next single, and it is a great track as well.

Highly recommended if you like these CD's:

"This Darkened Heart" by All That Remains

"Waking The Fallen" by Avenged Sevenfold

"Stabbing The Drama" by Soilwork
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on March 16, 2005
...some of the growls seem forced to me. It's like there's a formula with metal bands nowadays that goes: scream the verses, sing the choruses. I understand that the screaming adds addrenaline to the song, but in some scenarios it is not necessary. I'm just saying that Trivium should give more clean vocals a shot next outing.

But, no one in their right mind can question the talent of this band or the quality of this CD. It's just plain sick how well they play together.

Heafy's got one hell of a voice though. Low growls, screams, clean...he can do it all. Add in great drumming (double bass with a fury), and amazing solos to get Ascendancy. It's a pure rush, beautiful and crushing at the same time.

All of the songs are written well...whoever writes the lyrics in the band should pat themselves on the back. My favorite song is "A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation", where they break up the mayhem in the middle of the song with a homage to 80s metal. Awesomeness...

Overall, these guys stand above almost all the American "metal" bands nowadays. Like the guy below me said, if you own two metalcore albumns for this decade, make it Ascendancy and Avenged Sevenfold's "Waking the Fallen".

I also recommend Soilwork's new release "Stabbing the Drama", as well as Trivium's debut "Ember to Inferno" which is *almost* as good as this release.
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on March 28, 2005
This band has more potential than anyone could possibly imagine. The fact that they produced this AMAZING record when all the band members are between the ages of 19-23, is just mind-blowing. And this is no beginner's luck, their debut album was quite good too. 2 certifiably quality metal releases at this stage in their careers; one can only assume Trivium will be praised in the metal community for quite some time.

Here's to shifting a bit of the metal momentum back stateside!
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on March 14, 2005
Wow... I just bought this CD about four hours ago, and I just keep playing it over and over! It is absolutely amazing!!! I first heard of Trivium through the MTV2 Headbangers Ball Vol. 2 CD, and I thought that Like Light To The Flies was a great song. So I picked up there first CD Ember To Inferno... and then I was hooked! I also saw them live opening for KillSwitch Engage, which was a great show, and made them one of my favorite bands. While Ember To Inferno is a great CD, Ascendancy is so much more! I can't even find the words to explain how good it is. And it is not like there are some good songs and the rest are average. No... Every single song is a gem! How many CD's can you say that about? They have experimented with their sound a little bit, which I think is a good thing. While some people are going to criticize songs like Dying In Your Arms for being to commercial, I think it is a welcome change of sound for this group. But they also stick to their signature sound, which is very heavy, quite a bit. They are great at making songs about diverse subjects, such as suicide on Departure, child and spousal abuse on A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation, to how all people are drawn to destruction and mayhem on Like Light To The Flies. But not only is there great subject matter, it is just a great CD to rock out to!!! The melodies on songs like Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr, Ascendancy, Suffocating Sight, and especially Departure are just crazy. Overall, this is a must have!!! Fans of Killswitch Engage, 36 Crazyfists, and Shadows Fall NEED this CD. This is my new favorite CD, along with Killswitch Engage's The End Of Heartache!!! So go pick up two or three copies... it's that good!! Also if they come to your town, go see their live show show... it is fantastic!!! Enjoy!!!
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on August 20, 2014
This album and Shogun are the two that everyone always claim to be Trivium's best album. I'm going to be up front and say that Shogun is the best, In Waves and Vengeance Falls are tied for 2nd, The Crusade is next, and then this one (I have yet to hear Ember, but I will buy it and check it out). If that's good enough for you, then thanks for reading. If you want to know why this one isn't as good as the others, buckle up!

The Music:

1. The End of Everything- This is a short instrumental that opens everything up. It's a nice little piece of music with acoustic guitar and flowing piano melodies and even a choir towards the end. Mysterious opener.

2. Rain- This song comes out of nowhere with blistering riffing! I love the opening of this track! The verse is very high in energy and even back in '05 this band had that high energy riffing! I have to say though that once this one hits the chorus, it goes downhill. The chorus isn't that special and then going back into the verse just sounds like a loss of energy to me. Decent song. I can hear the elements that make their later work awesome, but the metalcore vocals are what kill this song (and to some extent, this album as a whole).

3. Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr- The drumming at the beginning is epic as all heck and then the melodic riffing that comes in is even cooler! This song is a true Trivium anthem! Heafy's vocals on this song are good, the riffing is better than the preceding song, and the musicianship in general is up a level for this song. This is a definite reason to buy the album, but this isn't the greatest song that this disc (or download for most people of my generation) has to offer. The solo is quite good, but far from the best solo on the disc. Great, energetic metal track though!

4. Drowned and Torn Asunder- This song has a slower, more melodic/atmospheric intro. Then it takes off with some more upfront thrash riffing. As soon as Heafy starts screaming, my head starts going! His vocals on this one have a little bit less of a core influence and sound more powerful and heavy! He's got some grit in his vocals here (not just the screams), and this song is great melodic rocker. The guitar melodies are top notch, the drumming is technical, and as usual, the solos are phenomenal! Great solos here!

5. Ascendancy- This is one of the first songs I listened to that got me interested in purchasing this album. I like the guitar work in this one and the drumming is impressive. On this one again, there is less of the typical metalcore sound/whine to Heafy's vocals and it sounds like he does on later albums. This song is able to balance the anthemic melodies of the chorus very well with the aggressive verses. Very well done!

6. A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation- If there is only one song to buy on this album, it's easily non other than this one. This song stands up to anything that came out after this album, stands out as this album's best song, and for sure sports one of the best guitar solos/instrumental passages in heavy metal in its decade! The guitar work from this band is always great, but for their 2nd album, this is AMAZING! The drumming isn't as technical as other songs, but it fits so well! And the vocal performance on this song is the bestow the album! No traces of Metalcore here, a fully thrash/heavy metal song! The solos are great, but then it goes into an Iron Maiden-style guitar harmonizing passage! Amazing song! I can't praise it enough!

7. Like Light to the Flies- This song wastes no time, it starts off with a jump for your jugular! The riffing is heavy, the drumming suits it, the bass fills up the mix, and the vocals are screaming out lungs! There is quite a bit of harmonizing here! And yet again, the "core" isn't in Heafy's voice here! This is another pure metal classic! Guitar solos are good here as usual. Great song!

8. Dying in Your Arms- This is a song where the metalcore sound just kills it. Now to clarify, it's not that I don't like metalcore, I quite enjoy Underöath, August Burns Red, and a few others, but Trivium is much more talented than all those bands and is better than that sound. Not a terrible song at the end of the day. Not bad.

9. The Decieved- Thrash riffing kicks this one off and my head is bobbing along once again! This is a good song. There really isn't too much to say. It sports the trademark Trivium guitar work, the amazing drumming, the pummeling bass lines, and some face-melting vocals. A tiny bit of core slips in, but it's not bad. It works as it did in track 3. I really do have to say that the drumming fills here go hand in hand with the music! Killer job on that! Great solos and good song!

10. Suffocating Sight- The opening moments of this song are amazing! The verse keeps that statement true! There are thrash elements throughout the opening minute of the song! Great riffing and great melodic guitar parts! But the chorus falls flat for me. Then it goes into a breakdown. And I mean an obvious breakdown. This is a band that for the whole album, they've survived without one. Then they drop one here. The solo redeems the song in my eyes, but not enough. Decent song overall.

11. Departure- This song never really sat well with me and it still doesn't. It just sounds like any band could've wrote it rather than Trivium. And that's what annoys be about the core sound to the other tracks. Trivium is good about being it's own identity, but the core elements and this whole song in general kind of take away their uniqueness to my ears. Not a fan of this song at all.

12. Declaration- This song doesn't sound generic to me or anything like that, but it still doesn't settle with me. Now, I applaud them for trying to make a long song early on in their career, but this one doesn't keep my attention for all 7 minutes like their later long songs such as The Crusade and Shogun. Humble beginnings. That's basically what this is in my mind: A stepping stone for their epics. Decent song, but necessary for their later greatness!

Verdict- I may sound like I'm whining/complaining about how Trivium has a metalcore sound and all that jazz, but this band is capable of so much that metalcore bands aren't. At the same time, looking at the time and recognizing that this is only album number 2, I recognize that I am being slightly hard on them since they are a favorite band of mine. All in all, it is an enjoyable album and I recommend buying it if you like modern metal(core) like Avenged Sevenfold, Underöath, and August Burns Red or if you like classic Thrash/Metal like Metallica, Iron Maiden, or Megadeth! Get your copy today!

Happy Shopping!
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