Sound — 8
After such a young and brutal introduction with the bands first two Albums 'Ember to Inferno' and 'Ascendancy' Trivium had metal fans gagging for more. Since the band released 'The Crusade', fans of Trivium have been torn over the future of the Florida metal band, with critisizms that 'The Crusade' was very much watered down. Labelled by some of their followers as a 'do-or-die' album, Shogun certainly doesn't disappoint. Returning in full force lead singer Matt K Heafy delivers an outstanding vocal performance. It's obvious that Trivium has taken the words of the public to heart, given longer to record Shogun than previous albums and gaining from the experience of touring with the likes of Iron Maiden Trivium has delivered a knockout performance. The opener 'Kirtuse Gomen' delivers one heck of a punch, bringing a blend of technical beauty seen in The Crusade and coupling it with speedy, gritty lines that brought Trivium into the limelight in the beginning. Each song delivers a huge array of different melodies, just as Trivium takes you into an infamous solo the melodies and tempo of the song gracefully sweep you into the arms of a new sound. The album's pre-release, 'Down from the Sky' shows a side of Trivium that's more fierce and promising than ever before. Heafy's vocals are much more focused and produce the best melodies and screams to date whilst lead guitarist Corey Beaulieu along side Heafy delivers some very tight, high-octane solos. Drummer Travis Smith and bassist Paolo Gregoletto deliver performaces that will see Trivium create a roaring crowd in stadiums. Whilst some of the tracks can feel subdued at times, such as 'Like Callisto To a Star in Heaven' the flow and versatility of tracks such as 'Shogun', an obvious creative step from the previous album's 8 minute showpiece 'The Crusade' leaves the band standing proud. The album as a whole should have hardcore fans and newer breeds of Trivium impressed, while maybe just falling short of a true masterpiece, Shogun has proven that Trivium are still the starwalt metalers they used to be.
Lyrics — 9
Once again Heafy delivers eloquent lyrics that reflect how much the band has matured as musicians and as people. Tending away from some of the arguably more generic themes displayed in The Crusade, Shogun is delivered in true metal style. Well suited to the new, more agressive Trivium the lyrics are delivered with the best vocals Heafy has produced in his musical career.
Overall Impression — 9
With The Crusade being coined by many hardcore fans as a disappointment Shogun delivers the old spirit of Trivium that left fans salivating in the first place. The album's biggest headliners, Kirisute Gomen, Shogun and Down from the Sky deliver sounds that have thrown Trivium back into the spotlight. What's a shame is that Shogun perhaps falls just shy of a truly increadible album-whilst I seriously recommend the album, particularly to the older fans feelings perhaps betrayed by The Crusade Trivium need only push a fraction harder to dominate the metal scene.