Sound — 8
This is U.S band Trivium's forth foray at writing a full length album. After a somewhat disappointing return with the Crusade, Trivium have tried to prove they aren't the new Metallica rip-off band with Shogun. I think Trivium are grouped into Metal core because of their first two albums but with THE CRUSADE and more importantly Shogun are branching into Heavy Metal with 7 string riffing, blast beats and quick guitar solos. Cory and Matt do excellent guitar solos, harmonized solos and riffing on this album. The drums are solid and the bass is hardly heard. Guitar work is certainly the high point of the album. And yes, Matt Heafy has brought back his monotone scream which will please many fans. The skills in his scream are far from great but I think they do the job, creating a raw, br00tal sound when needed. Some of the clean melodic sections are fantastic on this album. Top Songs: Kirisute Gomen, Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis, Into the Mouth of Hell We March (my favorite), Throes of Perdition, The Calamity, Of Prometheus and the Crucifix and Shogun(the 11 minute instrumental).
Lyrics — 7
The album is based on a ancient Greek and (mostly) Chinese mythology. It's about wars, epic battles, slaying huge creatures and marching into the mouth of hell( my favorite song, musically and lyrically). I think in some songs the music really fits with the epic nature of the lyrics but many times it just didn't quite. Props to Trivium for trying it, it really is a hell of a concept. I personally found the screaming parts almost indecipherable for lyrics but I found some melodic parts when mixed with the music were EPIC( Into The Mouth Of Hell, The Calamity, Of Prometheus and the Crucifix)
Overall Impression — 9
This is the technical side of the music seen on the Crusade with the screaming seen on Ascendancy. I'm glad some clean vocals are left because I believe this is where the album is at it's strongest. I think this album is for Trivium fans, people who think they are Metallica ripoffs (listen to this) fans of great musicianship and Heavy/Thrash Metal and Metal Core fans. If you are not sure, download Kirisute Gomen or Into The Mouth Of Hell because they are good examples of the album. They go a lot of different ways. I love the concept, the musicianship, the epic clean melodic moments and the Down From The Sky breakdown. I don't like some of the screaming sections, some of the solos are forced and the songs sometime overstay their welcomes with long running times. Buy this and listen and enjoy it because I think it is Trivium masterpiece. If it was lost or stolen I would buy it again because it is great. A strong candidate for my album of the year. Well Done Trivium.