Trivium are a band that have divided the opinions of the metal community since their breakthrough, but even if some people question their style no one can question their talent; Trivium are a true collection of virtuoso musicians who are able to write catchy and enjoyable metal songs.
‘Shogun,’ the Florida Metal band’s fourth studio album is a delight for fans of the band’s first two albums ‘Ember to Inferno,’ and ‘Ascendancy,’ as it brings a lot of the better elements from those releases back to the forefront, including the screaming Metalcore vocals which divided fan opinion so much.
This choice will take some getting used to for fans who preferred the band’s third album ‘The Crusade,’ but in the end, it is worth being open minded as ‘Shogun,’ may well be Trivium’s best album to date both musically and in all the other areas such as lyrics and production.
In my opinion the best songs on the album are the aggressive ‘Like Callisto To A Star In Heaven,’ and the slightly dark ‘Insurrection,’ which borders on extreme metal at times.
The album also should get credit for the career highlight drum performances from Travis Smith, who is frankly amazing behind the kit.
To some fans, the album may appear off-putting on first listen; as the more commercial tracks appear early on in the album and could make the album seem less than heavy on first listen. As with all of Trivium’s releases however, the commercial side is balanced with very heavy and technical metal elsewhere.
Whether you are a Trivium fan or a curious outsider you should not be afraid to try Shogun, it contains all the band’s various styles distilled on one brutal, thoughtful and fresh album. Highly Recommended.
***The special edition comes with a DVD and three Bonus tracks, slightly different artwork. It is certainly worth the extra money, as while the Bonus material has a high quality of songwriting and delivery and the DVD is very interesting.
The ‘Making Of Documentary,’ is pretty substantial for a bonus feature and offers not only insight in to the recording process, but the economics of Roadrunner Records and the feelings associated with being forced into contractual obligations you’d rather not have to fulfill. As well as this interesting Documentary (albeit, with a silly comedy prologue about Nashville) there is Some instructional footage on how to play the guitar and bass parts, which is a nice addition to the overall package.***