On their last release "The Crusade" I was hailing these guys as the next thrash metal kings. Moving from the more metalcore style of their previous album "Ascendancy" I was floored by the monstrous riffing and great vocals on "The Crusade". Even vocalist/guitarist Matt Heafy's voice had evolved into a near carbon copy of Metallica's James Hetfield. It was truly an amazing release. So now, on their forth album "Shogun" the band has taken yet another leap in their sonic journey to combine all the elements of their past sounds and bring us a heavier and even more powerful album. Employing seven string guitars and bringing back Heafy's screaming vocals into the fray, "Shogun" is a powerful tour de force. Heafy's vocal prowess has become quite impressive. He can easily move his voice from screams, to his "Hetfield" yells, to what has become a much improved singing style. The musicianship is of course, outstanding. Unlike Dragonforce, Trivium know how to write great riffs, play insane shredding solo's and manage to have the restraint not to overplay and leave space and texture in the songs when it is needed. The songs themselves delve into Japanese and Greek mythology and are four to over six minutes in length with the exception being the almost twelve minute closer "Shogun." To be honest, I could have done with less metalcore screaming and more of his (Heafy's) other vocal styles, but regardless, Shogun is definitely on the best metal albums of 2008.
- Craig Harvey