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Review

Trivium revolutionizes metal genre with new album

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November 20, 2008

Trivium, an American heavy metal quartet coming from Orlando, Florida continues there onslaught against the modern metal community with their latest studio release, “Shogun.” The album is unique in the fact that it combines elements of the fan favorite “Ascendancy,” and the Metallica-like release, “The Crusade.”

The most noticeable aspect of this album is the return of lead vocalist Matt Heafy’s brutal screaming vocals. Loyal Trivium fans criticized the bands last release heavily for the disappearance of screaming, but will be presently surprised with “Shogun.” The album does a superb job of balancing old school elements with a modern metal touch.

  It’s become quite apparent that Trivium’s songwriting ability has greatly improved, as has their instrumental musicianship. The album opens with a Japanese title, Kirisute Gomen, which directly translated means “You’re Sword Fodder,” but possesses the conventional meaning “I’ll do what I want,” and that’s exactly what Heafy and Trivium accomplish with their new album. Shogun still possesses many thrash elements that were also found in Trivium’s earlier works. There are mind-blowing riffs, and enough spine shredding solos to keep hardcore fans happy.

  Although the entire album is a solid listen, the tracks that truly stick my mind are, “Insurrection,” “Throes of Perdition” and” the eleven minute album closer, “Shogun.” You may find that the album is almost seemingly a polarized confusion of Trivial elements. Heafy’s vocals are exceptional on both spectrums of his abilities. His clean vocals stray away from his previous Metallica-like sound, while his howls and viscous cries shatter your ear drums track in and track out. The screaming on this album is typical of other metalcore albums I’ve heard, overtly furious without any truly distinguishing elements to attempt to stand uniquely alone. The atrociousness and intensity of Shogun calls for a more angry mood, which is why I believe the band returned to their screaming roots.

Shogun will not silence the never-ending criticisms on Heafy’s inability to truly define himself as a vocalist, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. This album is not for the faint at heart, but for the tenacious and thrashcore mindset. I will go out on a limb and say these two things: metal album of the year and the album to truly change the genre forever.

Erik Wood is a student at UW-River Falls.