Trivium
Shogun


3.5
great

Review

by Chris Gaduzo USER (6 Reviews)
May 25th, 2009 | 43 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With "Shogun", Trivium have finally created their own sound, but it still has that same "love or hate" feel about it.

"Shogun" is Trivium’s third album for Roadrunner Records, and the follow up to 2006's "The Crusade", an album that spawned the "I hate Trivium, those Metallica wannabes" attitude. Part of the reason for this was because "ascendancy", was such a success within the metalcore genre, and for changing their sound to a modern thrash one, it definitely divided the fans. "Shogun" concludes the band's evolution, as it combines everything they have done in the past, and surpasses it.

Fans will recognize "Becoming the Dragon", from the previous album, as one of the only songs with any screamed vocals that were the main form of vocals in "Ascendancy". In this album, the vocals are similar in proportion to this song, a combination of screaming and Matt Heafy's "singing", similar to that of James Hetfield (apologies for the second Metallica reference). On most of the songs, the vocal formula is similar, cleanly sung verse, screamed pre-chorus, and a melodic chorus. Although it does seem somewhat repetitive, it works, even though the listener may find themselves predicting what the next song will be like. It is best described as a compromise; people missed the screams on "The Crusade", so here they are, aggressive as ever and combining well with the cleaner sections.

So on to the songs themselves, lead single "Down from the Sky" is quite a catchy, melodic song, which I would recommend as a touchstone for the rest of the album, as it encompasses all of the elements found in the rest of the album. Fans of Trivium's heavier side won’t be disappointed with the aggressive "insurrection", which switches the formula slightly, instead of a screamed pre-chorus and sung chorus, its reversed. "Throes of Perdition" is another stand-out track, with an interesting guitar introduction and a good chorus. Listeners listening for more anthemic songs will find this in "Into the Mouth of Hell We March", arguably one of the best songs on the album.

Half-way through "Shogun", things start to get a little boring. "He Who Spawned the Furies" is a rather mediocre track, as is "Of Prometheus and The Crucifix", as it seems that the formula is somewhat overused as this point. "The Calamity" is a pretty weak track, with an intro disturbingly similar to previous songs. The final track, "Shogun", is interesting. It is about ten minutes long, and shows Trivium throwing everything they have into the song. If it wasn't for the Ballad-like middle section with a bluesy solo, I would simply dismiss it as another weak song, because as a normal song, it is lacking. Its length is its saving grace, as after the middle section, there are some heavier passages and a final anthemic chorus that is given extra power thanks to the previous section.

Now, lyrically, it is easy to draw another comparison to "Becoming The dragon", as this song was about some Japanese legend about a warrior becoming a beast of some kind. If you like this sort of thing, the lyrics are perfect for you. Most of the songs make obscure mythical references, especially in "Of Prometheus and The Crucifix". Japanese cultural references are also made clear in frantic opener "kirisute Gomen". I personally don’t find much satisfaction in hearing an entire album about myths and what have you, but on another level, the lyrical content can be interpreted metaphorically, without the mythical imagery, for example, perhaps "Like Callisto To a Star in Heaven" can be interpreted with the view that one must look further than looks: "hate not, the flesh that makes me, but seek what lies beneath".

Instrumentally, all the members of the band are on top form. Trivium has always been praised for its riffs and solos, and "Shogun" doesn't disappoint. Solos from each guitarist are featured in every song, and the riffs sound fresh, not simply reused guitar lines so frequent in metalcore. Drummer Travis Smith provides a solid base, along with the bassist, who even has a few solos on "Torn between Scylla and Charybdis". All solos are executed with precision; it’s pretty much a shred fest, with the exception of one solo in the title track, which works surprisingly well.

So, the question is, "will I like it?" If you've never liked Trivium don't bother, this is Trivium, nothing else. If you're one of the many fans that were put off after "The Crusade", and were massive fans of "ascendancy", then it’s worth a listen, as it is at best, a compromise between these two albums. "Shogun" brings back elements of the metalcore found on "ascendancy" and "Ember to Inferno", without losing their modern thrash edge.

Pros
- Fresh sounding songs
-very technical, but at the same time is memorable
-more aggressive than "The Crusade"

Cons
-Weaker Tracks ruin consistency
-songwriting formula can seem repetitive
-Heafy definitely got carried away with his Japanese mythology....



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user ratings (1276)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • TheSpeedNirvana (2.5)
    Would sound great if it could just make up it's mind....

    P.J. Quinones (4)
    ...

    MarkedFortune (4)
    Trivium may either be loved or hated by the metal community. Some may see them as immature...

    Locrian (3.5)
    Although there's still room for improvement, Shogun is easily Trivium's best work to date....

  • ChickenWingDoctor (5)
    There is no better balance between melodic beauty and fierce intensity than the album Shog...

    Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF (3)
    Shogun may well rankle the traditionalists, but in going back to basics Trivium have retur...

    red0 (2.5)
    It sounds good at first, with lots of positives, until you realize the songs all fade toge...

    username345 (2)
    An improvement on 'The Crusade' but still a weak album, too long and ruined by Heafy's dre...

  • Fugue (3)
    Better than I had expected, worse than I had hoped....

    Justin Taslak (3.5)
    They're back?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Fugue
May 25th 2009


7353 Comments


Please capitalize words after full stops and at the start of paragraphs. I know I'm being fussy but it doesn't look professional without.

Zip
May 25th 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"love or hate" feel about it.

2.5 just to spite you.

Motiv3
May 25th 2009


8938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

-Heafy definitely got carried away with his Japanese mythology....

Lmao so true yet really funny. Good review im pretty much on agreement of what u said about the album.

bloc
May 25th 2009


34872 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i know corey screams a lot on this album, but the screaming in general on shogun make the ascendancy screams sound so terrible.

Poet
May 25th 2009


5934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Heafy definitely got carried away with his Japanese mythology....

Aside from the first song, the title of the album, and the cover art, there is hardly any Japanese mythology on here. It's mostly Greek.

Zip
May 25th 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Greek, Japanese, same difference.

jingledeath
May 25th 2009


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

album is good

Zip
May 25th 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

GTFO

MusicinaBox
May 25th 2009


513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

album rocks, you need to use spelling check badly.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2009


8368 Comments


review is ok for a first, not worthy of a neg imo, but you really should look this one over, it has got way too many grammar mistakes. Also Ross (mutatedfreek) is right, please capitalize your words where clearly needed (at the start of paragraphs, at the start of sentences etc.)

chrisggib
May 25th 2009


18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ok, ive done the spellchecker and stuff, should be okay
anything else??
you'll have to excuse the careless mistake, i forgot the spellcheck despite the big text at the top saying "use some form of spellchecker"

and i agree, Japanese,Greek, same shit

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2009


8368 Comments


alright, even though this is not my favourite review, i still think that it is not worthy of a neg so here, I'll pos

chrisggib
May 25th 2009


18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not worth a what??!

Zip
May 25th 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You're new here aren't you?
Why would anyone neg a new guy?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2009


8368 Comments


you negged me when I was new

Zip
May 25th 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

No, Zippermouth negged you when you were new. I am Zipp3rmouth, I have no idea who Zippermouth is. (don't point out my hypocrisy in public!)

KYZAR
May 25th 2009


513 Comments


seems meh

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2009


8368 Comments


btw @ chrisggib

You can vote for other people reviews. At the bottom of the review there is the line Was this Review Well Written? . If you think a review is very well written you can vote yes and if you think the review suck dick you can vote no. The options are under the line Was this Review Well Written?. At the top of the review there is the sentence ... of ... thought this review was well written. That shows if you have gotten pos's or negs. Right now you have got two pos votes as you can see and one neg.




Zip
May 25th 2009


5312 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

In other words, you have a 66 percent score, which is basically a D. Don't sweat it, you'll get better.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2009


8368 Comments


oh and Zipp3rmouth - I shall always know who you are and what you have done. But i'll be quiet, for now hahaahahahah



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