Review Summary: Colorado young man found shredding guitars to splinters in local shop.
Chris Shoeman is a humble 18-year-old guitar shredder based in Colorado who has recently managed to make it through to the other side of that teenage purgatory commonly known as "high school". But here’s the interesting part, he has done it in style, with a killer album under his belt. It's hard to believe, but Triumvirate is a one-man army already riding on the wings of a third full length. When From Beyond the Grave
found its way to my library during the first days of January while I was scratching the bottom of the barrel of early year releases, the last thing I was expecting was this unannounced and unforgiving thunderstorm of a record.
"Anthropocene" fooled me right from the start, whipping my skepticism with an impressive catalogue of riffs, to the point I had to confirm several times that I wasn't listening to a band of the same name. Chapeau! You got me, Shoeman!
"Visions Under a Full Moon" was an instant favorite, thanks to that extremely vicious riff/chorus moment dropping at the two-minute mark that is honestly the stuff of legends. Same goes for the initial galloping of "Death of a Falling Empire" where Shoeman also replicates the bone-chilling growls of Bolt thrower's Karl Willetts like he is possessing the man himself.
From Beyond The Grave
is an explosive cocktail of extreme metal styles, where black metal meets thrash metal, mutates into groove metal and dies as a true death metal hybrid. The title track showcases all these influences, executed by Shoeman's inhuman wrist. He is not playing those riffs, he is perforating them into his instrument.
Although some tracks are harder to mine than others, there's always a little ingot of gold to be found even in the weaker tracks of Triumvirate's latest. The crushing tempo of "Spikes Driven Deep" and the disconcerting chant in "Department Offense" might not be exactly gold in my book, maybe silver, and some other tracks like "And Darkness Draws Near" feel like a great riff idea that doesn't reach the same level of completion than some of the ammunition loaded on the first half, but they do point out to a promising future if the man can keep the riff factory steaming in the years to come.
The aptly titled "End of the Line" closes the album with the only section that includes clean vocals, which may be a sign that Shoeman might not feel comfortable yet in this field, although his ability as a chorus writer definitely indicates some untapped potential.
A solid metal all-star record for all those looking for material that bounces on different sub-styles with remarkable skill and firm resolve. Chris Shoeman's Triumvirate is only one of several projects set in motion in 2021, so be sure to keep this young axe man on the radar before he grows bigger, stronger and powerful enough to destroy us all.