Love 'em or hate'em (and there are PLENTY of folks that fall into both camps), there's no denying that Trivium have managed to either piss people off or bring on board legions of fans with their brand of modern metalcore and 80's styled thrash. Their 2005 debut Ascendency was a molten metalcore affair, filled with heavy riffs, flashy guitar solos, and plenty of harsh, growling vocals. For their sophomore release The Crusade, the band traded in their growls for James Hetfield-inspired clean vocals, as their music took on a very Metallica-inspired swerve, from the vocals right down the to classic thrash styled riffs that the titans were famous for in the 80's. While hordes of metal fans loved their songs and abilities on their instruments, many also trashed the band for their 'good looks', smug, know-it-all-attitudes, and presence on too many tours within a span of two years. Well, they are back with their third CD, this one titled Shogun, and there's no real surprises here, but they've combined the styles of the two earlier releases, and come up with a real solid platter of thrash riffs, growls & clean melodic vocals, catchy songs, and lots of white hot guitar solos.
Tracks such as "Insurrection", "Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis", and "Down in the Sky" pack plenty of punch yet are extremely melodic, while Matt Heafy mixes in some rough growls with soaring melodic tones on the crunchy "He Who Spawned the Furies", a song that also features some really heavy rhythms and beefy guitar riffs. The guitar duo of Heafy and Corey Bealieu really know how to play their instruments, so expect lots of intense riffage and acrobatic solos throughout this CD, and at times the guitar work can overshadow the songs themselves, especially on the more generic sounding pieces like "Of Prometheus and the Crucifix" and "Throes of Perdition" . When the band lets it all hang out, like on "Like Callisto to a Star in Heaven" or the epic title track, things really fire on all cylinders and they show just how capable they truly are.
Shogun probably won't change your mind if you already have it in for these guys, but if you missed some of the extreme nature of the first album, it's back, and if you liked their more melodic thrash style from the second, that's here too. Overall it's a solid release from a talented band that seems to be moving themselves up the metal ladder regardless of what's being thrown at them, and with Roadrunner Records fully backing them, there's no telling how high they can go.
1. Kirisute Gomen
2. Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis
3. Down from the Sky
4. Into the Mouth of Hell We March
5. Throes of Perdition
7. The Calamity
8. He Who Spawned the Furies
9. Of Prometheus and the Crucifix
10. Like Callisto to a Star in Heaven