Shogun review by Trivium

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  • Released: Sep 30, 2008
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (452 votes)
Trivium: Shogun
0

Sound — 7
The album kicks off with Kirisute Gomen, with an acoustic intro reminiscent of 'The End of Everything.' Though, after no more than 10 seconds, the band comes in with a fairly solid harmony lead, timed well with Travis Smith poking away at the toms. Following this, you are introduced to a for sure missed sound of the scream returning to action as Heafy pulls the transition into the inevitable thrash. And so as my last sentence implied, it is another thrash album, but unlike The Crusade which features more chord heavy riffs, there are excessive amounts of single note, trem. picked riffs, which no doubt add to the intensity, but do get repetitive and eventually take away from the music. The band sounds fuller, the music tries (perhaps too hard-- the comment I made about the trem. picked riffs) to sound brutal, and the leads and solos are crisp, which you would no doubt expect out of a Roadrunner Records album. Anthems are of course written for radio play, imagine that... but they focus more on chord structures and single note riffs that don't require picking as fast as possible. Another thing I've noticed is that almost every chorus is accompanied by a guitar lead, which is pretty sweet, in my opinion. So, my overall impression of the sound is it is good initially; in fact it hits you like a wall of bricks... unfortunately, even brick walls can crumble which is essentially what too many listens of this album will do for you. The lead work is often either easy and unimaginative, or an utter mind$*! # to the temporal lobes, especially when you get a hold of the solo work. New tricks, new licks, tons of shred, tons of shred that involves two guitar harmonies, or three, maybe even four layers. While it is probably one of their best efforts, Trivium still falls into the same sort of pit a lot of thrashers fall into... not much to offer as far as variety. Headbanging and anthems are great, but Trivium are certainly not exploring outside their comfort zone. I expect a lot more 'Metallica sound alike' tabloids again, though I think it stems mainly from the lack of dynamic and range in Matt's singing voice (giving it that same sort of half scream, half singing sound characteristic of James H. though they don't really sound anything alike.

Lyrics — 10
The song titles alone are enough to clue you into the lyrical content on this album... Matt has once again provided Webster some much needed dictionary sales with the release of Shogun, as confused teenagers across the country race to find out what 'scylla' means, as an example. Though, much like The Crusade, the lyrics are often just your average everyday lingo when it comes to the anthem-like "Down From The Sky." As for Heafy's voice, you should be glad to hear that he has brought back the scream and while it sounds exactly as you remember it, he may be using some programming to reach near (but not quite) death metal's bowel quaking growls. I'll give this an 10 because the words even I don't know are back, the singing is A LOT more bearable than on The Crusade, and Heafy screams again. I can't imagine a better combination than this, except if Matt suddenly added noticeable range to his pipes.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I'd have to say the whole album is worth a try. There's something here for everyone to be found, but it's probably going to find it's way out of your car's CD player within a month, or two if you get really caught up on it. That said, just look for the singles, they are generally a good place to start, because... well they are the most popular. Such songs are: "Down From The Sky", "Throes of Perdition", "Into The Mouth of Hell We March", and "Kirisute Gomen" so far. I personally love the faster sound, the screams, the more bearable singing voice, the growth in musicianship as far as solos go, and the initial feeling I get when thrown into the songs opener. Some things I think need improvement would be expanding the creative process to explore new genres, new styles of playing, heck... maybe even a new instrument. Trivium just gets boring after a few spins, in fact, by mid-album I was hardly paying attention, kind of just bobbing along to the occasional chorus that came up. I think the album will sell, people will go see them live, and Trivium will live on to make another album. I just hope for the day they get bored with their own music and look elsewhere... but I suppose it's hard to get bored with something that makes you rich and famous. C'est la vie, I suppose.

107 comments sorted by best / new / date

    0RI0N
    AXE187 wrote: this is the album that I wish metallica could have made.....
    I'm sure Trivium would love to here that.
    Vampire 255
    i perosnally think this album is really good yesterday i listened 2 asendancy, the crusade and shogun, and i much perfered 2 listen to shogun. im now addicted 2 listenin 2 down from the sky and have tabbed it out on bass keep up the good work trivium *headbangs*
    Mr Lordi
    I love this album in my opinion 100% better than Ascendancy and I loved Ascendancy too haha
    metaldud536
    The_String_Man wrote: I just wish there will be no much Metallica-Trivium comparison here. Anyways gonna check this out.
    There shouldn't be any comparison. They don't sound alike at all. I liked this album.
    deathofagod
    Personally i think this is the greatest record they've wrote so far, they've really found their sound with this, and dare I say it Trivium could be a band that in 20years time are thought of in the same respect that bands like Metallica and Megadeth are now. Astounding stuff.
    The_String_Man
    I just wish there will be no much Metallica-Trivium comparison here. Anyways gonna check this out.
    TokiNotABumbleB
    joshua029 wrote: AXE187 wrote: this is the album that I wish metallica could have made..... haha, you'll always be wishing dude. good album but def nothing compared to ascendancy or the crusade. a let down to me but still great...
    are you kidding me?! this is deff their best. BONUS TRACKS!
    TokaiRocker2000
    The album is awesome! My two favourite songs on it are Insurrection and Into the mouth of hell we march.
    skindred
    AXE187 wrote: this is the album that I wish metallica could have made.....
    i havent listened to shogun yet, but come on, death magnetic is an amazing album, flame me as much as you want.
    Austyn6661
    I'm actually glad they moved from the whole metalcore thing. It was getting stale. This album truly does, "Kick people's asses right in the face."
    Inthekeyofbmino
    mvtan wrote: HELL YEAH!!! THEY ARE BACK!!!
    They never left in my opinion.... These reviews do not do this album justice. By far the most amazing cd I have heard in far too long. It's in my top 5 cds of all time. Every song that is on the CD deserves to be there, all of the songs are masterpieces. Whoever said "He Who Spawned The Furies" sucks, obviously didn't listen good enough. That is by far one of the best on the CD. All in all, I highly recommend this CD. Well written, insane riffing, mind-blowing solos, amazing vocals, jaw-dropping drumming. I cant stress it enough -- GO BUY THIS!
    RequiemofDemons
    ha wow, I was a little skeptical at first but I think I might just run on over to the store today and pick it up. sweet reviews
    madman
    ****ing epic!... thats all there is to it... and i dont know what the unregistered reviewer was sayin about "He Who Spawned The Furies"... I reckon its 1 of the heaviest on the album and ****in rocks.
    bassbeat77
    I've always thought their lyrics were horrible and that their vocals kind of suck. It's the one thing that has stopped me from really getting into these guys. I was kind of surprised to see them comlimented in those areas. I'll still check this out though.
    dann_blood
    Great album. They've come into the studio with a really open minded approach and instead of bagging them for it you should appreciate it. The thing that made this album for me is about halfway through the track Shogun, where there's a great little bluesy solo. Great work, real versatility shows through with the musicianship.
    chaz0304
    i just bought the album today, and its pretty f**king sick!!! back to their best.
    Sickhead3000
    okay now that this albums out everyone all of a sudden thinks this album is a let down, just like what most people thought The Crusade was and now they love The Crusade, let me say two things. TRIVIUM RULE and all their albums have managed to blow me away
    mosherhamish
    magic medicine wrote: the screaming pretty much ruins everything..
    where have you been livivng for the past 15 years of metal, screaming is apart of metal nowadays, and without it this album would eb awfull, imagine all those breakdowns with sung lyrics, it would'nt work
    gizmodious
    By far the most amazing cd I have heard in far too long.
    Agreed. He who spawned the furies is a masterpiece. Its been a good year in metal: metallica and slipknot just dropped albums, dragonforce: ultra beatdown was ok... but of all the releases I listen to Shogun the most. Its just that good.
    SBLAKELEY
    mvtan wrote: HELL YEAH!!! THEY ARE BACK!!!
    the screaming gives it more depth, it would be boring if it was all singing like the Crusdae
    BlackEmissions
    i really love this album bought it a few days ago, haven't stopped listening to it it is rather addicting one might say awesome album!
    Untitled001
    Amazing album. Nothing can be said to make this album sound bad. Every song just kicks ass. Anyone else notice that the acoustic intro to Kirisute Gomen is similar to the chorus of Shogun? Agreed its not as good as Death Magnetic though, but it seems to be growing on me.
    mibe
    i'm really loving the new record! having loved ascendancy and having wished the crusade into the mouth of hell, i totally agree with hethamulburton: "the singing is A LOT more bearable than on The Crusade, and Heafy screams again." excellent mix! great guitar work. pick this album up! =D
    xXChimairaXx
    ember to inferno was pretty good for its time. when that album came out, metalcore just getting started. now when people listen to it today, it sounds like one of the 1000 other generic metalcore bands that are floating around today ( although matt's scream is easy to identify :O ). pillar of serpents is one heavy song
    bass_emagdnim
    Gordita Supreme wrote: To anyone crying about the screaming, go listen to someone else. Trivium have screamed since day one in 2000 and made one CD, their worst one by a mile, without screaming. They've been doing it for 8 years, if you don't like it shut the **** up and go listen to someone else.
    Yes, because Trivium invented the screaming vocal technique, didn't they. In fact, metal didn't even exist until they came along. Heafy's scream does suck. It was monotone from day one, and now it just sounds even worse.
    PLOP
    Amazing. If you can't acknowledge that this is atleast very good, you should go buy Steps greatest hits.
    ride-the-spiral
    I really loved this album, i thought it was much better than Ascendancy and The Crusade, although they are still awesome albums. One of the few albums where i love every song. Definitely best album of the year, i thought Mogwai's new album would beat this but i was pleasantly surprised
    alliwant
    I'm really enjoying the album. I bought it after hearing Down From The Sky and the album is a definite step up from the band. Shogun (the song) is absolutely brilliant!
    Axlthegreat
    I think it's their best album so far some really strong tracks on it but just like Ascendency plenty of weak moments they could have done without halfway and on the title track is hands down the best music they've ever crafted. into the mouth of hell we march is this albums anthem(we are the fire), both shouldn't have been on their albums and do not fit at all, horrible songs. The other top songs are Down from the sky, Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis (great bass solo!), Kirisute Gomen, and throes of perdition.
    duncang
    I Shalleth Be The Chosen Who Shall March Into The Depths Of Hellfire And Returneth With A Fully Checked Article, Complimented By The Sacred Talismans Of Emad and Stu.
    joshua029
    AXE187 wrote: this is the album that I wish metallica could have made.....
    haha, you'll always be wishing dude. good album but def nothing compared to ascendancy or the crusade. a let down to me but still great...
    death_obeyer
    is there ONLY me who, i don't know, maybe has the balls to type this out but this cd is honestly ***in ***t compared to ember to inferno and ascendancy, this honestly is DIRE those two albums were just raw, they had so much potential, and they seem to be throwin it away on silly themed albums the crusade i kinda put up with but sighed for half of it, but this...oh wow...just no and don't get me wrong, if i don't like somethin, i listen to it over and over, but...this just does nothin i hope i'm not the only person who types this out...i really don't...
    odb56
    AXE187 wrote: this is the album that I wish metallica could have made.....
    Man if they would have made songs like this ,it would have been the same shit like st.anger "that aint metallica"
    LoveIsHell
    its good, but just a shame its mostly played on a 7 string which i think gives the album an odd sound
    archangelseren
    what can i as a fan say about this album who has been with them since ascendancy.... well it holds its good moments and it has its bad ones where trivium get lost in there influences (again) and play melodic floaty riffs that mean nothing! im not saying i dont like it and it has some really good songs "Torn Between Scylla And Charybdis" but it doesn't stand out to me as a great album like i could say ascendancy does
    Afi_rocker_91
    this album is the sickest. And OMG. matt DOES NOT SOUND LIKE JAMES FROM METALLICA! they sound noting at like. AT first on the crusade Cd it kinda sounded like him but if you really listen they are sooo different. Plus trivium smashes metallicas new cd. blows it out of the water
    LightxGrenade
    death_obeyer wrote: is there ONLY me who, i don't know, maybe has the balls to type this out but this cd is honestly ***in ***t compared to ember to inferno and ascendancy, this honestly is DIRE those two albums were just raw, they had so much potential, and they seem to be throwin it away on silly themed albums
    I don't understand what everyone wants, in the early albums they did a bunch of screaming and yeah it was pretty heavy but if they put out four cd's with nothing but screaming and the same kind of sound as in Ascendancy and Ember to Inferno then everyone would be complaining that they never change their sound and seem like a cookie-cutter metalcore band...