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Trivium - Shogun
Where Ascendancy was my favorite album of the year 2005, The Crusade made me doubt if Trivium wasn’t just another one-hit wonder. During the tour in support of The Crusade they gave me some hope though. During that tour with Machine Head, they’d introduced the screams again and the songs of Ascendancy were again played as how they’re supposed to be played. This performance gave me some confidence about the upcoming release and also the words of Heafy during an interview with Metalrage, It’s gonna be a little bit of everything that Trivium as a band and that our fans have ever liked”, comforted me.

The biggest point of criticism on The Crusade probably was that Heafy was trying too hard to be the new James Hetfield. Well guess what… Not anymore! The familiar screams, the clean vocals, the aggressively sung vocals, this is just Heafy singing and the Hetfield-imitations are hardly present anymore. Furthermore the band indeed combined the best parts of their previous releases and mixed it into a catchy, heavy and fresh sounding metal record.

The inspiration for Shogun lies mainly in the background of Heafy. The Japanese warrior culture is present through the whole album, but Shogun isn’t a traditional concept album though. Beside “Japanese” songs like ‘Kirisute Gomen’, an ancient Samurai code, and the title track, with which the highest ranked military generals are meant, Shogun also holds songs about ancient Greek mythology. These myths were used as an inspiration and a tool to help the development of the lyrics. They can be found in songs like ‘Torn Between Scylla And Charybdis’ and ‘Of Prometheus And The Crucifix’.

As artists and songwriters you can definitely hear that the band has evolved and brought the whole thing to a next level. While sounding more mature, Trivium also found a way to sound as fresh and as brutal as on their Roadrunner debut in one. A good example of where Trivium really stands for is their first single ‘Down From The Sky’. Although it seems as if they’ve taken the right decisions on this album, there are still some question marks. Personally, for example, I can’t believe ‘Like Callisto To A Star In Heaven’ is on the actual album, while ‘Upon The Shores’ is only present on the special edition as a bonus track. Just as with ‘Washing Away Me In The Tides’ and Ascendancy, ‘Upon The Shores’ is just too amazing to be missed.

Another extra of the special edition is a DVD with a behind-the-scene documentary entitled ‘The Making Of Shogun’ and ‘Shogun: The Riffs’. The latter contains instructional videos for learning the songs of Shogun on your guitar or bass. Trivium wanted to make this record in a non-conventional way and what’s a better place to go as a metal band than to the home of country music, Nashville to record you album then?! During the funny documentary you get to see how life was during the recordings and in contrast to ‘Shogun: The Riffs’ this is interesting for all the fans. ‘Shogun: The Riffs’ isn’t something to watch when you’re not playing guitar or bass. When viewing it, you’re only getting boring close-ups of guitars and basses.

With Shogun, the guys of Trivium have proven themselves again. After The Crusade I had my doubts, but they’re all gone now. This album will definitely be in my year list, with the title track and ‘Upon The Shores’ as my personal favorites. Whether this is their Number Of The Beast or Master Of Puppets or not is hard to say, but they’ve at least done everything that was in their power to create a killer record.
Trivium - Shogun
90/1001Details Roadrunner Records
Released on Monday Sep 29th, 2008
Modern Thrash Metal

Writer @Gilles on Monday Oct 27th, 2008

Tags: #Trivium
Tracklisting 01. Krisute Gomen
02. Torn Between Scylla And Charybdis
03. Down From The Sky
04. Into The Mouth Of Hell We March
05. Throes Of Perdition
06. Insurrection
07. The Calamity
08. He Who Spawned The Furies
09. Of Prometheus And The Crucifix
10. Like Callisto To A Star In Heaven
11. Shogun
12. Poison, The Knife Or The Noose (Bonus track)
13. Upon The Shores (Bonus track)
14. Iron Maiden (Bonus track)
Line up Matthew Kiichi Heafy – Guitars, Vocals
Corey Beaulieu – Guitars, Vocals
Paolo Gregoletto – Bass, Vocals
Travis Smith – Drums
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