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Shogun (将軍) is the fourth studio album by American band Trivium. The album was released worldwide on various dates between September 23 and October 1, 2008 through Roadrunner Records. It is their last release to feature founding drummer Travis Smith. Work on the album is noted to have begun with producer Nick Raskulinecz in October 2007, with the band stating that they chose not to work with Jason Suecof again as they wanted to explore new ideas.

Shogun largely features a continuation of the thrash metal style featured on The Crusade, however, it also marks the return of Matt Heafy’s screaming vocals and is also the band’s first album produced by Nick Raskulinecz. In an interview for About.com, Heafy described the album’s musical direction as a combination of various aspects including: “the past, present, and future of Trivium, all on one CD” and that is the “next evolutionary step”. When asked about the change in his singing style, he said: “It’s the kind of thing that happened naturally.” Shogun heavily features 7-string guitars and 5-string bass guitars, which had been used sparingly on The Crusade.

Shogun sold 24,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, and debut at number 23 on the Billboard 200 chart, and the top 100 in 18 other countries, including #6 on the Japanese international charts, #4 on the Canadian Hard Rock Charts, #1 on the UK rock charts and #4 on the Australian charts. As of March 2009, the album has sold around 70,000 copies in the United States since its late September release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The album received generally positive reviews, with Chad Bowar of About.com praising the band’s progress on songwriting, as well as their musicianship. Bowar finishing its review stating: “Shogun won’t silence Trivium’s legions of critics, but I think most fans will like the harsh vocals along with the great riffs and memorable melodies.”
Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic described Shogun as “Trivium’s most challenging and ambitious album yet.”
IGN’s Ed Thompson wrote that with the release of their fourth full-length album the “band have done what absolutely needed to be done.” The band’s ideas and influences were praised by Thompson, and considered Shogun the best of their first four albums. Thompson also defined Shogun as the band’s “best effort to date.”

The group did not want to make an album where all songs had the same singing style, like in The Crusade, and decided to just let their music flow naturally and unbiased. Unlike The Crusade, which had some songs focusing on famous and controversial murders/crimes, this album has a few songs that deal with ancient Japanese military customs and several regarding Greek mythology, some serving as metaphors to be interpreted by the listener. “Into the Mouth of Hell We March” and “Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis” detail the story of Odysseus choosing whether to face the giant whirlpool Charybdis or the 6-headed monster Scylla. “He Who Spawned the Furies” is about the Titan Cronus devouring his children and castrating his father Uranus, creating Aphrodite and the Erinýes (the Furies). “Of Prometheus and the Crucifix” references the daily torment of Prometheus and alludes to crucifixion of Jesus Christ, serving as a metaphor for enduring torment by the public for daring to contribute something new to society. “Like Callisto to a Star in Heaven” is written from the perspective of the nymph Callisto, detailing her rape and impregnation by Zeus and her transformations into a bear and into Ursa Major. “Down from the Sky” features a contemporary theme, chastising those who spark wars for profit or religion, and warning of nuclear holocaust.

Edited by forfrosne on 23 Jul 2013, 20:25

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