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I’ve wanted to review something from Trivium for a long time now, but never got around to. I’ve heard a few songs from them that were average, nothing really caught my attention. Anyways, so I’ve finally gotten to these guys, and might as well review their newest album Shogun. But after listening to it, I just ask myself question. The main question I constantly ask myself over and over again is simply why are they so popular?
Trivium is a simple band to understand, they’re one part metalcore, one part thrash, and all together one giant gimmick. Trivium doesn’t do anything creative; they just steal other (bad) ideas for their own. Pretty much the metalcore influences can be traced to Shadows Fall, and the thrash influences are mostly 80’s rip-offs. Other than the influence, there are a lot of other reasons as to why this annoys me.
The main reason as to why this album annoys the hell out of me is strictly Matt Heafy. His vocals are so annoying I can’t tolerate this guy, or any metalcore vocalist for that matter. He’s your typical metalcore vocalist, every verse has you basic hardcore screaming, every chorus has the somewhat whiny clean vocals to show just how good of a singer he is. Then you got the back up singers to help project his weak voice. But seriously, how many metalcore bands are out there? How about on this site? There has got to be over 1,000 on Metal Archives alone right? Basically every metalcore vocalist sings just like this guy. Sure maybe they’ll have an accent to sound different but they all sing the same in the end, nothing but hardcore screams and whiny clean choruses.
Trivium is a band about copying other band ideas and pasting them as their own. A lot of people bash these guys for trying to be the next Metallica, and I can see why. Not so much with Shogun because this album is mostly modern United States melodeath, which is basically metalcore nowadays. But looking at their older material (Ember of Inferno) it is chopped full of half-assed Hetfield impressions and some Metallica riffs ranging from Master of Puppets to the Metallica S/T.
If you look at everything else in the album, like the production, it’s very basic. Production is pretty clean; it focuses on the vocals, while the bass is inaudible. The drums got that somewhat wet sound to them like Linkin Park does. Even the actual structure of each song is basic; it’s just verse chorus verse chorus stuff really.
Personally I’m glad that they stuck with the melodic/thrash influences instead of going for a groove approach with the metalcore influences. The last thing we need from Trivium would be slower groove passages to reflect Lamb of God. But at the same time when you sound like Shadows Fall trying to imitate Metallica that’s also annoying as hell.
So here I am at a dead-end trying to figure out what score I should give Shogun. Nothing about it is original. It’s mostly rip-offs of Metallica, and Shadows Fall styled metalcore. The album isn’t as bad as The Crusade. I would much rather listen to this than any other metalcore band out there, even if it is just for the Metallica rip-offs. The album itself is average when you look at metal in the media or metalcore for that matter (they all kind of sound alike you know). So I’ll grade it on that, if this was actual thrash/melodic/whatever album it would fail greatly. Simply put, Shogun is just another metalcore album from a band that copies other ideas to make mediocre easy listening metal for listeners of the metalcore scene. Now that I think about it, I finally figured out why these guys are so popular…