Sound — 9
Just to start off, weather you like Trivium or not, it is fair to say that they have no fear of exploring their sound. Shogun is a prime example of this. During this CD, lead singer Matt Heafy reserves his screaming more, but in my opinion the screams are much more brutal. Also use of new equipment has benefited Shogun For instance, all of the songs on this album use at least one 7-string guitar, as opposed to Acendency where the guitars were in drop D, and mainly considered a metalcore band. Then, the Crusade granted them the nickname of a bunch of Metallica wannabees. This album certainly refutes that standpoint and is a very strong album.The only exception is that sometimes the breakdowns or even slow sections tend to lag on. 01. Kirisute Gomen: the opening track on this album has almost an Asian flavor to it with the intense drumming at the beginning. This is probably the heaviest song on the album with little singing. This song gives you a good idea of a lot of the breakdowns, vocal techniques, and guitar riffs found in the album-9 02.Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis: this track is not quite as heavy as Kirisute Gomen. This one almost reminds me as something that could be found on The Crusade, except with screaming.the solo is one of the better ones on the album, but the chorus is mildly annoying.-7 03.Down From the Sky: my personal favorite on the album. I believe this song has something to do with world war two or when America used atomic weaponry against Japan. Try listening to this song while playing Call of Duty: World at War, if you have never heard this song, but played the game, that is the kind of bleak, twisted, yet disturbingly real feeling this monster generates. -10 04.Into the Mouth of Hell we March: this is a song where Trivium shows proof that they actually wrote The Crusade. However not a bad song, with the solo reminding me somewhat of Avenged Sevenfold's Afterlife.-8 05.Throes of Perdition: Throes of Perdition is an immensely dark song featuring mammoth 7-string riffs, a long breakdown, a disturbing music video, and strummed octaves in the chorus. This song also contains the best Seven-string riff on the entire album.This song is written very much like Down from the Sky: guitar intro, long, intense breakdown, and some rather disturbing lyrical imagery. -10 06.Insurrection: a nice change of pace, a fine example of where Heafy's scream is more reserved for the heavier parts. This solo reminds me somewhat of Metallica's Wherever I may Roam. The breakdown in this song is slightly more musical,, and just better- 9 07.The Calamity: not one of Trivium's better songs on the album. The drums and scream in the pre-chorus and intro are probably the best parts of the song. -6 08.He Who Spawned the Furies: this song kicks off with doubled vocals which is becoming increasingly common in the metalcore genre. Saying that, I do not consider Shogun a metalcore album. After the intro the song moves into some rather bad singing, and kind of goes downhill until the solo. -6 09.Of Prometheus and the Crucifix: a much more lyrical song with good singing in the chorus and almost no screaming. Although far from the best song on the album, Trivium does a good job of controlling the melody and having less of a breakdown on this one.-8 10.Like Callisto to a Star in Heaven: the intro reminds me somewhat of the Calamity, but overall is a much better song. This one doesn't sound much different than anything else on the album. -7 11.Shogun: clocking in at over 11 minutes this one is hard on the attention span. There is 3 sections, a moderate section, a slow section ( even a blues solo in there at the end), and a fast section. Shogun may be one of the more musical and varying songs on the album. The end of this song features song really cool breakdown-like riffs, and some 7-string patters that are quite impressive.
Lyrics — 7
Metal is known for having merciless, and often quite disturbing lyrics. Trivium takes this stereotype to the max. Without penetrating the category of death metal, this band features some of the most horrifingly dark, relentless, and sometimes depressing lyrics in metal. I can only give the lyrics an seven because as some people love their lyrics somewhat grotesque. I, however am not one of those people. The lyrics are what may ultimately drag this band down, there are no songs that I would consider positive on the album, and this could quite possibly be an artistic barrier. The lyrics fit how heavy the music is and Matt Heafy is a good singer as well as a good screamer, but I'm just not for all that negative energy.
Overall Impression — 10
Often times Trivium is compared to Metallica because of the phenomenal guitar work, instrumentation, etc. Part of this is true because both bands have gotten more musical as their careers have gone on, every member of both bands are extraordinarily talented, and have somewhat of a similar sound. this comparison is not accurate because of the obvious: Trivium screams a lot, Trivium doesn't write any slow songs, Metallica's best work is in standard tuning, Trivium's best work is in drop d or by use of a seven string guitar. Some songs such as Down From the Sky, Throes of Perdition, Kirisute Gomen, and Insurrection really impressed me. However, there is a lot of songs on the album that could have been omitted.