"Shogun" (Roadrunner; 2008)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Trivium return to their roots of screaming and singing on this fourth release, entitled "Shogun." Matt said he wanted to make their own kind of music again so they brought back the screaming. I like their style and, since the whole thing isn't Matt blaring, I can get into this disc.


The guitar is great: incredible intros, blistering solos and if you don't have blood dripping from your fingertips after attempting Corey's tablature, you're not doing it right. Hold on, I need to get my fingers cauterized.


The drums just run the whole show; I know it takes tremendous talent to sprint while sitting in one place for minutes at a time and when the first song starts galloping right out of the gate you're betting on the horse named Travis Smith to win the race.


I did feel a Metallica interjection from the first cut titled "Kirisute Gomen" which means "I apologize in advance for striking you down." Apology accepted, guys. Every now and then some Iron Maiden guitar comes creeping in and it sounds awesome.


This disc has some extra features as well. You can see how they made the album with a documentary included and for those who love the strings (guitar or bass) you get "Shogun: The Riffs Instructional Videos for Guitar or Bass." Plus, there are three special edition bonus tracks on the CD. Bonus tracks, a separate special edition bonus DVD, what more could you ask for?


Trivium: Matt Heafy lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitars; Corey Beaulieu lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals; Paolo Gregoletto bass, backing vocals; Travis Smith drums, percussion.


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"Ember To Inferno" (Lifeforce Records; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Trivium's "Ember To Inferno" instantly reminded me of In Flames' latest CD, "Reroute to Remain." That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Although I certainly admire In Flames' earlier CDs, "Reroute to Remain" is my favorite because it steps away a bit from the cookie monster vocals that sabotage so many great death metal records - melodic or otherwise. Trivium's "Ember To Inferno" does the same.

However, one thing "Ember to Inferno" doesn't step back from is pure metal power. This CD is a powerhouse from track one through track twelve, delivering a solid melodic death metal / metalcore performance that never lightens up and, thankfully, never goes too far extreme. Guitars thunk along at a jackhammer pace, drums thump with a deadly rhythm and - son of a bitch! - you can understand most of the lyrics! Hell, there are even some catchy melodic choruses here.

Again, I don't want to give the impression that Trivium is in the slightest way "softer" than bands like In Flames, At the Gates, etc. In fact, there are even some fine Pantera / Superjoint Ritual moments here. Trivium's definitely got equal metal firepower and, I'm willing to bet, eventually equal status as those veteran bands. This is the kind of CD that - once you hear it - you can't wait to tell your friends about!

Trivium: Matt Heafy - guitars, vocals; Travis Smith - drums; Brent Young - bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 14:16:29 -0400.