Monday, October 16, 2006

New Metal Album and Concert

Last night, I went to see the metal band Trivium. Sanctity, Protest the Hero and The Sword opened up for them - not bad for $15 (before the $7.25 Ticketmaster fees - BOO!). I didn't expect Sanctity to be there, but it was nice to see them since I had missed their performance at the recent Gigantour show. I was excited to see Protest the Hero, and they put on a good show, but I think most of the crowd - and especially the friends I was with - weren't ready for their hyperactive, time-shifting, young and quirky type of sound and show. The Sword put on a performance pretty much right in line with my expectations: heavy and grooving, if a bit monotonous at times.

Then came Trivium.

Trivium is the band that made me appreciate modern metal's rougher vocal styling, and indeed their previous (2nd) album, Ascendency, quickly became one of my favorites. Matt Heafy and crew are a talented bunch! Still, the early singles from their third album made me nervous - afraid that that very vocal style was abandoned, and along with it, some of their edge. When the new album, The Crusade, was released earlier in the week, those fears were largely realized. The new album sounds uncomfortably like Metallica.

Now, I LOVE the first three or four Metallica albums. Then began a decline that many long-time Metallica fans know all too well. It's not that newer Metallica output is awful, it's just nowhere near as good as they used to be. It is an archetypal tale of a band becoming popular, evolving its sound, and losing what made it special to its early fans.

Trivium's third album is _too early_ for that to happen! Maybe, since their first album was little known, and since they are still very young, this new album can be considered a 'sophomore slump' of sorts.

That said, the new album has killer guitar work, which is valuable to a guitarist like myself (enough to make me overlook the sometimes silly lyrics that are more frequent on this album). I imagine it will grow on me. The new songs certainly sounded good live! And really, I'm being hard on them because I like them so much and expect a great deal from them.

So, the concert rocked, and despite my reservations about the new album, I still think these guys are riddled with talent. Trivium R-O-C-Ks!

Fun with Swords

My son has been pirate crazy lately, and this has only added to his interest in swords. He uses the bean pods from the neighbors catalpa tree as swords. Finally, when he started making swords out of Legos, only to have them fall apart on the first swoop through the air, I decided I needed to make him a small, safe, wooden sword. About an hour later, I was done, complete with an 'X' (his initial) burned in one side. It certiainly isn't an example of fine woodworking artistry, but it is sturdy and functional. That same day, my wife made him a belt with a magnetic closure and a loop to hold a sword - and with that, he was ready for follow in Captain Jack Sparrow's footsteps!

(I took the above picture with my new camera phone.) Posted by Picasa