Trivium - Shogun
Record Label: Roadrunner
Release Date: September 30, 2008
It's sad to see how the genre of metalcore has evolved. It's sad that bands like Slipknot and Atreyu are marketing their music to scene kids that probably have never heard of Metallica or Slayer in the first place. It's sad that I can't tell the difference between As I Lay Dying and All That Remains anymore. It's sad to listen to nothing but breakdowns for a whole album. I've almost completely lost my respect for the whole genre because of these generic bands.
But Trivium, to me, has always stood out from the metalcore scene because of their refusal to follow the cliche trends of the genre. Building on the progressive metal of The Crusade and the aggressive thrash of Ascendancy is Trivium's fourth full-length, Shogun. It's the rare case of a band progressing without selling out, something that we all see way too much of these days. The production is great and not overdone, and lead singer Matt Heafy has greatly improved his vocal range since The Crusade.
The album starts out with two equally heavy and relentless songs, "Krisute Gomen" and "Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis" before moving on to the lead single, "Down From The Sky." With an epic opening, a powerful pre-chorus (Heafy's screams are absolutely brutal) and a soaring chorus, this song is the ideal Trivium single I had pictured when I heard this album was coming out. Up next is the ambitiously titled "Into The Mouth of Hell We March." "Dear God, the fucking ship is sinking!" Heafy growls before another exhilerating chorus. Guitarist Corey Beaulieu follows up with a quick-paced, exciting solo.
The album gets heavier as it goes on. Standout tracks include "Insurrection," a song with verses that sound like something Metallica would have written during the 80's, "Of Prometheus and the Crucifix," with its great chorus melody and impressive guitar solo, and the closing title track, an eleven-minute masterpiece, the perfect way to close out the album, in my opinion.
What I like most about this album is Trivium's tendency not to sound like your typical melodic metalcore band. It's good to see that there are still some bands sticking to their metal roots and not giving in to today's boring metalcore trends. The lyrics are good, the band is extremely talented, and it is an overall great heavy metal record.