Check out the full review below, and also the video for their current single from the album DOWN FROM THE SKY.
Florida’s prodigious metal machine make crowd-pleasing fourth album.
It’s momentarily startling to discover that Trivium frontman Matt Heafy is still only 22 years old. To have achieved this much at so young an age, with most of his creative years potentially still ahead, suggests that he and Trivium are a band that are still going to be both lauded and controversial a metal generation from now.
Saying that, it is rather important that Trivium don’t fuck up now. Fan opinion was split by the band’s desire to simplify the complex, rampaging twin-guitar lead storm that brought them to fame with 2005’s Ascendancy. The following year’s The Crusade saw Heafy move away from chesty roars toward a cleaner singing style, while a thrashier old school-favouring rawness roughed up the music. Some thought it a betrayal of the band’s ‘new wave of metal’ standing, but yet more loved it.
This time, perhaps sensing the division, Trivium have conjured a masterstroke that might just build a bridge. Shogun manages to be most of what Acsendancy was, shaken up by the elemental forces that made The Crusade such a success. It may sound like a compromise, but it’s hard to describe anything so heavy, so complex and so ruthlessly hook-laden as compromised in any sense. Instead Trivium serve up a grand statement opener called Kirisute Gomen that charges and pummels, finds Heafy singing from somewhere near his boots, and when you least expect it, explodes into melody.
There’s echoes of Metallica’s Damage Inc on shred monster Insurrection, but On Torn Between Scylla And Charybdis, Heafy flicks from one style to another over staccato guitars and a bulleting rhythm section, while both Into The Mouth Of Hell We March and Throes Of Perdition draw truly inspiring hooks from the stormy depths. Down From The Sky has echoes of Bullet For My Valentine’s bleak chorus making, but look hard and there’s flashes of death and, once, even black metal buried here in Shogun’s technicality. These are songs structures that few bands would contemplate – music demanding a diversity of talent. And metallic it certainly is.
The 12-minute title track may be a bridge too far for most attention spans, and certainly He Who Spawned The Furies is too lightweight to throw punches here. Never mind. In the course of a meaty, action-filled 66 minutes, Trivium have delivered a credible claim for longevity, one that proves their talent and justifies their ambition. More importantly, they may have finally found their true sound.
Pick up your copy of SHOGUN online HERE.