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Trivium - Shogun

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Trivium - Shogun

Trivium - Shogun

Roadrunner Records

The Bottom Line

Trivium's latest CD combines the heaviness and harsh vocals of their early work with the chops and melodies of their newer stuff.
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  • Great riffs.
  • Improved songwriting.


  • Return of screaming vocals could be polarizing.


  • Released September 30, 2008 on Roadrunner Records.
  • Produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Stone Sour).
  • This is Trivium's fourth studio CD.

Guide Review - Trivium - Shogun

Trivium's latest CD Shogun combines elements of both Ascendancy and The Crusade. Most noticeable is the return of screaming vocals. There were very few on The Crusade, as Matt Heafy used James Hetfield-esque singing. This time around there's a mix of both, with screaming being slightly more prevalent.

Shogun keeps a lot of those thrash elements, with fast galloping riffs and plenty of shredding solos. Trivium balances those old school influences with modern touches, and working with a producer (Nick Raskulinecz) who has experience with mainstream bands like Foo Fighters and Velvet Revolver helps make even their most intense parts accessible.

Trivium's songwriting has improved, as has their musicianship. The riffs are really good throughout the album, starting with the first song "Kirisute Gomen," one of the best songs on the CD. I also particularly liked "Insurrection" and "Like Callisto To A Star In Heaven." Shogun wraps up with the epic 11 minute title track.

The most polarizing thing on this CD will definitely be Heafy's vocals. His melodic singing has improved, and while there are still a lot of similarities to Hetfield, he also sings with a cleaner, more mainstream style on a lot of the songs. The screaming is standard metalcore, angry and not very distinctive. The aggression of some of the songs does call for angrier vocals, and I can see why Trivum decided to return to screaming.

Shogun won't silence Trivium's legions of critics, but I think most fans will like the harsh vocals along with the great riffs and memorable melodies.

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