Trivium
Shogun


2.5
average

Review

by TheSpeedNirvana USER (7 Reviews)
September 6th, 2011 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Would sound great if it could just make up it's mind.

Trivium have always had a tenacious relationship with the metal community and the many, many, MANY sub genres they insist upon. Some of these arguments have merit (You can’t listen to a death metal record and complain about the vocals being too hard to understand). Other’s not so much (Are we honestly going to still pretend deathcore’s a thing?)

From their influences varying from classic metal acts (namely just Metallica) and hardcore bands, Trivium where suppose to be that happy marriage between new and old. Thrash metal solos, meeting metalcore breakdowns. Classic, clean vocals, meeting death growls. But for some reason it never quite happened the way it was suppose to. Like most couples, there was always a power struggle in Tivium’s previous albums, and one side would win out. Their first couple of albums have a distinct metalcore sound to them. But The Crusade, changed things up by doing its best to sound like classic Metallica. And also like most couples, sometimes the band felt the need to bring a crazy, unpredictable third-element (progressive) to the bedroom (studio) to spice things up (make them sound smarter). Okay, so just the couples I know.

The point is, that perfect union was never attempted as hard as it was on Shogun, where Trivium took every damn influence they had, called that sexy, but fickle tease progressive metal for old time’s sake, dragged them all to the bedroom, and set the stage to film what for all intents and purposes, should have been awesome sex. But it turns out, sometimes even with the best intentions in mind, both parties leave only mildly satisfied, and have to admit that the chemistry simply wasn’t there.

Shogun doesn’t so much harmonize all of Trivium's influences as it does bluntly throw them into place, all over the place, for a very messy affair. All the individual bits on their own could make for short, but tight songs. When Trivium wants to sound thrash, they channel a pretty damn good Metallica impression, that’s different enough to be original. But when they make the sudden, abrupt change to metalcore mid-song (singled by what I like to imagine is just Matt clearing his throat) it’s such a jarring shift, that it’s hard to tell whether it’s any good. (I’ll save you the trouble, its pretty average for the most part). Every song feels like this.

They all start well enough, and for the first two minutes or so there isn’t a single song on this album that sounds like it could have been incredible if half a minute was invested in arrangement. The shifts mid-song, are a little out of Trivium’s talent reach to be pulled off. And it only makes you madder, when you hear great instrumentation sprinkled in every now and then, as if they’re deliberately taunting you with how good they could be if they could just make up their minds.

And that’s the biggest problem with Shogun. As far as Trivium’s outings go, it’s the weakest simple because it can never be consistent. Otherwise great songs are either marred by grating shifts into metalcore territory (which wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the growls weren’t ear gratingly terrible) or just long drawn out wanking to pad out the song and sound more intelligent. Well, I suppose that’s one way to sound pretentiously, pseudo-genius. The other is to give your song titles long, awkward names (I’m willing to bet not one of them knows how the hell we’re suppose to pronounce Charybdis) , and write lyrics that are just vague enough to sound like the might actually mean something. Spoiler Alert! They don’t. Not a damn thing. Any “theme” the album may have had when it’s opening track ”Kirisute Gomen” ( one of the standout moments on the album) is quickly buried and forgotten by the 2nd track, which the band explains is about that chapter in The Odyssey, where Odysseys is torn between a literal rock and a hard place. Yes Trivium, I took high school Latin too.

Shogun was intended to be a mix of all of Trivium’s past releases to create and explore their own unique sound. The worst part about it all is that the band is actually quite talented. When Matt loses the annoying growls, his clean vocals are surprisingly well done. And the guitar soloing, while clumsily thrown in, is executed brilliantly. This album even boasts some pretty creative dual guitar harmonies. Travis Smith’s drumming gets a little stale too fast (I like blast beast as much as the next guy, but you’d think it was all he knew) but I can hear why he’s gotten such a reputation as a tight metal drummer. With all this great musicianship going around, it’s jarring that as a band, they just can’t sound tight together. Just like how as a band, I’m sure they are proud of this album. Too bad no one else is.



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user ratings (1276)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • 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...

  • Chris Gaduzo (3.5)
    With "Shogun", Trivium have finally created their own sound, but it still has that same "l...

    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 
MikeC26
September 6th 2011


3181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I dug the first half of this quite a bit back in the day.

However, it has aged a bit. Still though, there are is plenty of killer guitar-work to make for an entertaining listen.

DieDead
September 7th 2011


222 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fucking love this album. Great Guitar work, good vocals, lyrics...etc.

Ovrot
September 7th 2011


10495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is great

Carnifex
September 7th 2011


1918 Comments


Album rocks hard.

DarthMann
September 7th 2011


13815 Comments


Album is good

(how awesome is this trend)

TheArkitecht
September 7th 2011


1672 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good album, by far their best and btw that Charybdis slight towards them doesn't make any sense. He says it in the screaming passage before the chorus.

bloozclooz
September 7th 2011


1770 Comments


make up it's mind.


Trivium where suppose to be that happy marriage


There first albums have a distinct metalcore sound to


happened the way it was suppose to


quit switching tenses.


The point is, that perfect union was never attempted as hard as it was on Shogun, where Trivium took every damn influence they had, called that sexy, but fickle tease progressive metal for one more wild run for old time’s sake, dragged them all to the bedroom and set the stage to film, what for all intents and purposes, should have been awesome sex.


holy mother of incoherent run-on.

And the guitar soling


next time, do something more than just hit F7 before submitting.

ShinXetsu
September 7th 2011


605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

"Any “theme” the album may have had when it’s opening track ”Kirisute Gomen” ( one of the standout moments on the album) is quickly buried and forgotten by the 2nd track, which the band explains is about that chapter in The Odyssey, where Odysseys is torn between a literal rock and a hard place. Yes Trivium, I took high school Latin too."

I really don't see how any of this is an issue because they never claimed it was going to be a concept album. And I think you're taking their explanation a little too personal, it's not like they did it to slight anybody, Heafy's hipster persona be damned.

tl;dr that section seems like filler.

RagingNoob
September 7th 2011


134 Comments


Review is pretty good. You've really hammered in how incoherent you think the album is - to the point where you're repeating yourself a bit. Pick 1 or 2 of the best sentences about this and trim the others; this will let the rest of the review shine. The sex metaphor was a great idea, but you've crammed a few other ideas in there with it, which lessens the impact. I enjoyed the review overall, though. Keep it up.

pjquinones747
September 7th 2011


764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Decent review. But there are flaws to be found. The title to "torn between scylla and charybdis", youd find, is a line in the song. But thats the fanboy in me pointing out a miniscule flaw. Critically, i didnt find blast beats. In Waves? Yes, there are blast beats. (notably the gods of war 3 release; shattering the skies above). I am a drummer myself, so my p.o.v. is inevitably skewed to take notice of anything done on the drums. Travis is fast, but not from a grindcore background like the band's new drummer. And if you listen to Suicide Silence or Job For A Cowboy then put Shogun on for a spin, youll very quickly realize that Matt does not do death growls in 98% of this record and while the clean vocals are good, they critically do not impress much until the most recent release. Other than those rib shots, nice review. I did Pos.

Digging: GWAR - War Party

RenegaDrifter
September 7th 2011


179 Comments


Nice review but I exercise my right to be in total piss fu*k mad disagreement with it.



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