On their three previous albums, Trivium sounded like they were attempting to prove themselves to every hesher out there. With Shogun, the whipping boys have finally settled somewhere among vintage Metallica, latter-day Carcass and a lot of polished ’n’ updated ’80s Bay Area thrash. As the band have stopped the madness of attempting mass appeal, the riffs have become increasingly solid with Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu’s guitar tandem ever-more complementary as they bust out a handful of occasionally massive harmonies. Even the truer-than-thou crowd should easily find something of sonic worth in “Kirisute Gomen” and “He Who Spawned The Furies.” But the overall blandness of Shogun is akin to driving through Saskatchewan. While the elements for a better-than-average thrash album (minus the horrendous clean-vocal choruses) are present, not only will you have a hard time not playing “Spot the Riff,” but Shogun’s assembly and architecture is devoid of the lively attack and emotional élan necessary to make this a true entry into the pantheon of heavy metal long-players.
God Forbid’s Gone Forever