Trivium
Shogun


2.5
average

Review

by red0 USER (14 Reviews)
September 25th, 2008 | 83 replies | 18,658 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It sounds good at first, with lots of positives, until you realize the songs all fade together and play repetitively.

0 of 6 thought this review was well written

Trivium may qualify as one of the worst metal bands of all time. In a league of actually talented metal bands, they stand out as the band that rapes every other metal band's ingenious little aspect and conforms it to an ugly smashed-up cock rock fest. Metal is unfortunately a dying breed, and Trivium have done little to help that fact-until Shogun. They tried too much to be like Killswitch Engage, and tried to much to be like Metallica. Both times, they utterly embarrassed themselves and proved that they were just a bunch of kids trying to play with the big boys. However, Shogun proves that there is a glimmer of hope burdened among the trash, and proves that if they would just grow up and stop trying to rip what was popular, they'd be successful. Because despite it's major issues, Shogun sounds like a band is finding their sound and showing potential.

I was expecting Shogun to be "UBER PRETENTIOUS DRAGONFORCE RIP-OFF", because Trivium tends to sound like what's popular at that moment. Who's popular right now? DragonForce. So Trivium would naturally sound like DragonForce right? No. Instead of losing his testicles like ZP Theart, Matt Heafy sort-of found his testicles and grew some hair. From the opening thrashes of Kirsuite Gomen, Heafy roars with the most aggressive tone, screaming in throaty glory, something that actually dare I say it-sounds unique. The riffs? Quick sped riffs with fast rhythms. A very gothic, crunchy tone enters next, as the double-bass barrels on. Instead of the Metallica-less riffs of per se, Shogun rears off with speeding guitar solos with plenty of wah wah and plenty of fury. And then it goes into a traditional Trivium breakdown (ugh), before it ends and you ask yourself, "Damn. Am I really enjoying a Trivium song?"

And you might find yourself asking that very question often. And it's all something you should be asking yourself. Instead of trying their best rendition of Master of Puppets, Trivium have brought about an exotic, gothic tone with plenty of crunch-and a sound that is closer to Testament than Metallica. Guitar harmonization shows a bit of instrumental improvement, (yeah, no more ripping Slayer and Children of Bodom) and there's plenty of speeding solos. There's a nice smoothing blend between what seemed promising in Ascendancy and The Crusade, and thus is kind of what Shogun is. Not to say it's a collaboration between albums, but what makes it stronger is the addition of actual instrumental talent, some actually challenging song structures (which don't seem so challenging by the end), and some new riffs that are original (or, so we know now). However, I'm kind of losing interest in the breakdowns we heard so much of from these metalcore bands who all debuted at the same time-and Shogun's got a bit too many of these radio-friendly breakdowns that suddenly lose all ferocity sonically-guitars and vocals alike.

Where I noticed the biggest improvement, however, was in the drumming. Before, Smith tried hard to sound a lot like Lars Ulrich (double bass, mediocre tempos, bad mixing), and now he's actually sounding improved. Lots of sped-up rhythms with quick changing speeds and lots of unnatural changes makes the drumming sound quite improved. "Torn Between Scylla and ***ty Song Titles" showcases some of his best and sped-up drum work. That brings me to an issue with Shogun, the titles are awful, the artwork is awful, the song lengths are awful. The lyrics have no style, emotion, or passion. The lyrics totally are right-field, Japenese-inspired, that have no meaning whatsoever. A common syndrome with the songs is also the fact that the songs stay interesting for about 3-4 minutes, and absolutely lose their integrity by the 5th minute. Often they drag onto long with way too much wah and way too much mindless shredding with little tempo or rhythm adaption into the song. Naturally, it makes the song wind on way too long, and makes the album wind on way too long. It's a chore to listen to the album the whole way through. And even though the songs seem original for the first few titles, you kind of get an idea of the song's recycled structures by the end. They all usually just run pretty standard song structures for 4 minutes before barreling into 2-3 minutes of solos and random shredding with little progression whatsoever.

Musically it shows plenty of progression and promise-but burdened with traditional Trivium issues. The production has always been pretty awful, hell, with The Crusade, they sounded more like Metallica than they wanted to. God-awful clipping, extremely loud mastering, and distorted guitars were common in former Trivium records. It's all back in Shogun, just a bit toned down so they can fit extreme dynamics into the mix. It's still turned to 11, it's still all distorted, and it still clips really, really, really bad. I'm losing interest in having my eardrums get blown out the older I get, and have lost interest in volume only, and Trivium needs to realize that most people don't want to have distorted recording just for the hell of it.

Pretentious as hell, mastered terribly, repetitive, and a bit formulaic at the end, Shogun still stands out. I'm still a bit skeptical of the album, and that's just because it shows glimmers of originality and progression. Some of the songs are fairly enjoyable, crunchy, and epic. They now sound very gothic and extreme with lots of visceral edge. It just winds on for way too long, and becomes more and more formulaic as you sort your way through the album's mess. Every now and then you stumble across some golden ones, like Kirisute Gomen, Torn Between Scylla and ***ty Song Titles, Throes of Perdition, and the title track, but all too often you find yourself stuggling with 7 minutes of pure drawl like He Who Spawned Terrible Song Titles and Like Callisto to a Star in Heaven (or as I call it Like The Mars Volta we are too Pretentious), as the repetition and the fact you've heard this before makes you get restles. And as you figure out that there's potential, you're left with one of those albums with lots of carry, but with little substance. It's just one of those albums you'll have five songs from on your iTunes library. Trivium fans can celebrate that their band isn't absolute **** anymore, but still need to accept your band has plenty of work in front of them.



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user ratings (1258)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
bastard
September 25th 2008



3435 Comments


Trivium may qualify as one of the worst metal bands of all time.


They're a pretty bad band, but not among the worst in metal.

That goes to Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, and DoomThrone This Message Edited On 09.25.08

marksellsuswallets
September 25th 2008



4848 Comments


I dunno...DoomThrone is the worst metal band of all time (nice edit while I was posting :thumb: haha)

Good review for a first but its a wee bit to ranty at times (which is fine but try to keep focus on what you are ranting about instead of going off on tangents) Also it reads as more of a 2 or even a 1.5 for the most part to me...Conclusion is also a bit awkward sounding but good enough job

Welcome to the site!This Message Edited On 09.25.08

AP07373
September 25th 2008



493 Comments


"They tried too much to be like Killswitch Engage"
Really, when?
I do enjoy the enthusiasm of your review though, and that you commentedon the actual production value.This Message Edited On 09.25.08

red0
September 25th 2008



248 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I thought Ascendancy sounded like KSE, but w/e.

mutatedfreek
September 25th 2008



7351 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Good review, and I see where your coming from for most of it. I still give this album a three, but I am starting to find it repetitive.

zuzek
September 25th 2008



748 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Decent review, you could drop the cursing as it reinforces my belief that you write this review in a prejudiced manner looking for whatever may reinforce your opinion.

Other than that, please give me a track of Trivium and a track of KSE that resemble eachother, cause of all the comparisons I've heard, this is the weirdest by a long shot.
This Message Edited On 09.25.08This Message Edited On 09.25.08

P13
September 25th 2008



1327 Comments


That goes to Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, and DoomThrone

Dimmu Borgir is horrendous

bastard
September 25th 2008



3435 Comments


Exactly the point of that post.This Message Edited On 09.25.08

AP07373
September 25th 2008



493 Comments


I think he was just agreeing.

bastard
September 25th 2008



3435 Comments


i know

SnackaryBinx
September 25th 2008



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I listen to Progenies of the Great Apocalypse when I need a few laughs.

P13
September 25th 2008



1327 Comments


Sacrilegious Scorn is the best, trust me.

bleskimon
September 26th 2008



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Trivium and Kse? Oh come on you gotta be kidding me.

By the way, I don't like your review and I think that Shogun is amazing album, and a big step forward after that piece of shit - Crusade.

Bonus tracks are amazing, too. Vocals are fantastic.

fireaboveicebelow
September 26th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I hope I don't see you post anymore

DethMagnetic
September 26th 2008



110 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Lmao a 5??? what a joke

bleskimon
September 26th 2008



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm Trivium fan boy. What can you expect?

marksellsuswallets
September 26th 2008



4848 Comments


Well I would say common decency but you're a Trivium fanboy so nvm...

bleskimon
September 26th 2008



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh sorry, it's cool to be Trivium hater.

marksellsuswallets
September 26th 2008



4848 Comments


I don't hate Trivium actually...I rather enjoy this album...the stress of that was on the word "fanboy" not the word "Trivium"...

POST 1000!!!This Message Edited On 09.26.08

Poet
September 26th 2008



5910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I stopped reading after this.

Metal is unfortunately a dying breed




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