Shogun is defined as a senior Japanese military commander, a dodgy novel and mini-series by James Cavell or... the new Trivium album.
Groans all round by the self-appointed guardians of 'true metal'? Hope not, because this is one seriously heavy album. It has better structure than the flawed Crusade, and a better balance than Ascendancy. Both these albums revelled in the band's reverence for the Floridian death metal scene and a love of Metallica and Megadeth.
At last Trivium seem to have found their own identity and by sweet fuck it is heavy and good. The blurb from the band, for once, stands up well to the bullshit test. It reads:
'.... an album of songs that proudly surpasses everything the band have achieved in the past, available from September 29th.
“It was all very natural,” explained frontman Matt Heafy. “We didn’t care what was going to come out, and that’s why it sounds this way. We all still love extremely heavy music with the brutality and no melody, but we also love stuff that’s incredibly melodic and simple and memorable, so that explains the two extremes. We like to have everything. Vocally we tried everything from the lowest note I can sing to the highest note, from the lowest growl to the highest scream, and everything in between. We wanted to try it all. That was the whole concept behind the record. No limits. Just try anything and see what comes out.”
'With nearly one million album sales to date, Trivium launched Shogun with a free MP3 of bludgeoning opening track Kirisute Gomen. The unusual song title is a dynamic paean to the ways of the Samurai. The release of the new Madden NFL [that's American Football not Gaelic football...] game treated fans to a second hook-laden track, Into The Mouth Of Hell We March.
'From monolithic first single Down From The Sky to the towering steel-plated genius of the 13-minute Shogun itself, this is truly Trivium’s defining album.
“We wrote this album exactly the way we wanted to,” concludes Heafy. “We did our own thing. When people check it out, they’ll realize that we’re not an exclusive band. We’re not doing this for one specific kind of person. If you want to come to a show and rock out, that’s what we’re here for. We’re four normal guys who just happen to be able to play for lots of cool people around the world. And that’s what we’re gonna do. The first shows we do for this album are gonna be just us, our instruments and the music. There’s not going to be any fancy shit going on. It’s just gonna be raw, brutal and exactly what this album is. It’s about the music, and that’s all we’re about. We hope everyone comes out to see us and we hope you all dig the record. We’re really fucking proud of it.”
Out in your local record emporium from Monday, Shogun previews and streamed downloads are available from their Myspace site.
Tickets for Trivium's December 3rd Nerve Centre gig and December 4th Mandella Hall set are available now.