Rating:
8.3
Trivium - Shogun
30 September 2008


Disc I [CD]
01. Kirisute 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 [Special Ltd. Edition bonus]
13. Upon The Shores [Special Ltd. Edition bonus]
14. Iron Maiden [Iron Maiden cover] [Special Ltd. Edition bonus]

Disc II [DVD]
+ The Making Of Shogun
+ Shogun: The Riffs - Instructional Videos


Trivium's latest album Shogun is one of the pleasant surprises for me this year, although I am new to the band and to the genre they play, which I would define as Thrash/Metalcore. To Thrash I am of course not new, but Metalcore is something that has never attracted me, but as I said Shogun surprised me, and I do think it deserves some attention from fans of both old school Thrash and all kinds of new bands that represent the genre. To be frank I was even a little blown away by this album after just the second listen, and I was even thinking about reviewing this album without checking out the rest of Trivium's discography, but I did listen to the other three albums, so the review will be objective.

So what actually astonished me so much? Very simple; the songwriting. I am a fan of catchy songs, which Shogun has in abundance. Songs like "Kirisute Gomen," "Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis," the chorus on "Insurrection," to which I just want to bang my head and never stop, and, of course, the epic title track "Shogun" are examples. Most of other songs are great as well. They basically follow the same formula, which Trivium have used throughout all their albums: Metallica, Iron Maiden, and other great bands-influenced riffs, a combination of clean metalcorish vocals with grunts/shrieks, intense drumming, well-executed tasteful solos and great - almost flawless - production. Not much in the originality department, I agree, but this doesn't spoil my impression of this album because the songs are really good. And after all, being original is not the point of making music.

The thing that may bug people about this album is the aforementioned metalcorish vocals, which bring in a mainstream-like/pop sound to some songs, and which is probably one of the problems most haters of the band have with them. However, being a pretty open-minded listener, I have no grudge against this manner of singing.

My opinion is they have evolved a lot since their first album, gradually getting better, with Shogun becoming their best and most mature work. The last song, which traditionally is the longest on the album - this time the longest epic in Trivium's discography up to date - symbolizes the band's growth as well. Running for almost 12 minutes, it doesn't bore you because of all the riff changes, break-downs, and two great solos; a very memorable song.

As for the Limited Edition and the documentary DVD: they are not really worth attention. The two bonus tracks are nothing but mediocre just like the Iron Maiden cover. The Making of Shogun and Instructional videos are not that interesting either, but since the bonus materials cost only $3 more, go ahead and buy it, especially if you are a fan.

I want the last words of this review to be positive. Shogun is a great treat for an unbiased listener, so give it a shot, even if you are not into Metalcore.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 6
Production: 10


Band profile: Trivium
Album: Shogun


 


written by K†ulu | 10.01.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Nicko's Nose - 12.01.2009 at 22:39  
Great review of a great album! I would give it a 7 for originality though. It does have a lot of Maiden/Metallica/Dream Theater/other well known metal bands influenced riffs/melodies, but the overall sound is pretty unique imo.

Anyway, as always, most of the people who hate it hate it only because it's Trivium or because it's "untr00". It has a surprisingly good overall rating though... Looks like a lot of "tr00"/anti-Trivium metalheads forgot to rate it.
StratoDan1990 - 13.03.2009 at 01:56  
A brilliant review and couldn't agree more. Being a trivium fan for about 4 years, this is probebly their best album in terms of production, not originality though (I admit). After listening to Ascendancy in 2005 (which is the first album that actually got me into any kind of metal) I couldn't be happier with having Shogun in the collection, especially after 'The Crusade' which was mediocre.

I would recommend the dvd to the fans, it lasts up to about an hour in length.
Dangerboner - 14.03.2009 at 00:13  
Shogun is nothing but formulated pop music with guitar solos. There isn't much of a difference between Trivium and The Spice Girls, probably even with sexual preference too lol.
K†ulu - 14.03.2009 at 00:33  
That's a rather bluntly stupid statement I must say, apart from being unsupported.
Vanwarp - 06.04.2009 at 03:00  
Very pleasantly surprised, enjoyed it all, from the beginning right to the very end.
Xeros612 - 28.04.2009 at 20:23  
Solid album, nice progression/collection from their earlier sound.
Daggon - 25.06.2009 at 07:49  
I was listening to this album and "Ascendancy" today while studying at the library, nice album indeed. I found this very influenced by other thrash metal bands and less influenced by the metalcore scene, and even if it is not the most original work ever done on the metal scene I'm sure that many people can enjoy this and headbang while listening to this album. They just need "something" more to creat a masterpiece, maybe if they start playing more on the Thrash metal side...
Prisoner - 11.07.2009 at 17:10  
Written by Guest on 10.07.2009 at 01:52

Written by Dangerboner on 14.03.2009 at 00:13

Shogun is nothing but formulated pop music with guitar solos. There isn't much of a difference between Trivium and The Spice Girls, probably even with sexual preference too lol.


What a stupid comment! Some people just pour crap out of their mouths without even giving any real reasons why they don't like something! That's the case here! You just say "for me this is shit" cause you don't have an open mind and don't know how to respect other people's tastes lol!

Get a life man, and if you don't like something don't say moronic things like that, just go listen to something else!

I totally agree with u. if u don't like it, don't post a comment for it. why are u wasting ur time browsing MS for this album if u hate the whole band!!!
for me Throes Of Perdition is the best.... So Great,musically and lyrically.
Vitriolic Hate - 16.07.2009 at 15:13  
Written by Guest on 11.07.2009 at 17:10

Written by Guest on 10.07.2009 at 01:52

Written by Dangerboner on 14.03.2009 at 00:13

Shogun is nothing but formulated pop music with guitar solos. There isn't much of a difference between Trivium and The Spice Girls, probably even with sexual preference too lol.


What a stupid comment! Some people just pour crap out of their mouths without even giving any real reasons why they don't like something! That's the case here! You just say "for me this is shit" cause you don't have an open mind and don't know how to respect other people's tastes lol!

Get a life man, and if you don't like something don't say moronic things like that, just go listen to something else!

I totally agree with u. if u don't like it, don't post a comment for it. why are u wasting ur time browsing MS for this album if u hate the whole band!!!
for me Throes Of Perdition is the best.... So Great,musically and lyrically.

Agreed!
Vitriolic Hate - 16.07.2009 at 15:14  
The best album of Trivium imo!
Panterica - 11.08.2009 at 16:07  
Great album indeed , definitely after The Crusade which was a let down (In my opinion).
B.B.S. - 29.08.2009 at 10:21  
Their best so far
V8Thrasher - 20.11.2009 at 08:09  
Definitely a huge evolution and a big step forward from their previous albums, it was one of my top albums of 2008. I can see them stepping into the Progressive/Thrash route, if only they dumped those metalcore vocals. anyways, great review, and great album
+{Jonas}+ - 18.12.2009 at 03:38  
Great review, and it is indeed a great improvement. It's not so "bay area thrash ripoff" as The Crussade, and it is very very catchy, IMo thee is also an improvement n Matt's screaming. Tis bad isgettingbetter, growing up and making more mature albums.
His Eminence - 12.03.2010 at 00:19  
This is actually the only Trivium album I really enjoy. It's a definite improvement since I found their last three albums either mediocre or just plain bad. On an unrelated note, their new song for God of War 3 is pretty good.
JohnWayneGacy666 - 11.04.2010 at 07:25  
I actually reckon ascendancy was Triviums best album but This album is an instant classic I can't forget the words from the 12 minute epic shogun, and insurrection was one of my favorite tracks as well as Kirisute Gomen
soadbyob - 11.04.2010 at 17:55  
Amazing album, not as good as Acendancy, but damn fuckin close
Kennoth - 14.04.2010 at 18:30  
A pleasant surprise for me as well. I especially like Down From the Sky. The major downside for me however, would be the length of their song, and ESPECIALLY the lead track Shogun which lasts for 13 minutes
K†ulu - 14.04.2010 at 21:23  
Written by Kennoth on 14.04.2010 at 18:30

The major downside for me however, would be the length of their song, and ESPECIALLY the lead track Shogun which lasts for 13 minutes


Why? Does it get boring? I love every second of the title track.
Kennoth - 14.04.2010 at 22:10  
To be honest, it kinda does. It's a nice song, but I can't listen to something that long, no matter who's doing it.
Valentin B - 20.12.2010 at 04:05  
I think everyone had a great surprise with this album. i checked out tracks 1, 3 and 5 today, and indeed it's a great piece of music with some quite creative riffs. gonna listen to the whole album sometime these days.
jimmy - 06.01.2011 at 14:44  
I've been a fan of this band since the first time i heard 'like light to the flies', so i've checked out all their albums and this is the best one. thats not to say that the others aren't good, just that this one is a little better. and unlike the reviewer, i DO like the bonus tracks. they're good songs and a nice addition to the cd. as a fan you can definately see the progression of this band from their first album, ember to inferno, which is the only trivium album i cannot listen to, as it is not a good album and way too metalcore, through to shogun. i see a band thets getting better with every release.
my only problem with this album is all the screaming. i have nothing against screaming, but it just seems forced on some songs and out of place. like they're trying to hang on to their metalcore roots too hard when the songs dont demand it. i think heafy sounds better when he's singing clean or singing in the gruff, hetfield type vocal range. the screaming just seems misplaced to me.
still a great album though.
Sonic MrSumo - 20.01.2011 at 01:26  
Still not a huge fan of the raspy voice, but the clean vocals and music is excellent. They certainly are evolving nicely as a band, although The Crusade didn't do a lot for me.

The reviewer did a very good job, well done K†ulu. And I couldn't agree more, this album is NOT Metalcore, it's Thrash. So if you've disliked their previous albums because they had Metalcore influences, perhaps it's time to give them another try with Shogun.
fanapathy - 03.11.2012 at 20:43  
Having listened to this album for a couple months, I can say that originally I thought it was better but my final score today would be 8.0

What attracted me to Trivium is the guitar riffs, the rhythm parts mostly. I do not think vocals are that good and that the guitar solos are nothing special.

It's just the damn good riffs that makes it for me. The intro to "Throes..", the solo riff in "Torn Between.." and the (pre)bass solo riff."Into the mouth.." main riff and solo riff, the main riff is beyond amazing and probably the best one on the album. Shogun from 07:15-09:40 is the most amazing part on the album IMO. And these are just some. Some songs are not that great and some choruses I find somewhat boring. Overall a very cool album with some awesome stuff to learn for guitar players
Jokerslayer777 - 15.10.2013 at 21:57  
I dont like metalcore but this band is awesome
telephonebear - 15.04.2014 at 21:05  
Written by Dangerboner on 14.03.2009 at 00:13

Shogun is nothing but formulated pop music with guitar solos. There isn't much of a difference between Trivium and The Spice Girls, probably even with sexual preference too lol.


except i dont remember a spice girls song where emma bunton ever screamed "we'll take their fucking heads"
Coolingsrock - 23.07.2014 at 22:34  
This album was right before they fell off that cliff.its a long ways down with 2 albums under their belt before they hit the ground. talking about in waves and vengeance falls.
deadone - 24.07.2014 at 05:02  
I found it too disjointed in terms of song writing especially when compared to Ascendancy. And as such it sounds very irritating.

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