Shogun (Trivium album)

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Trivium - Shogun.jpg
Studio album by Trivium
Released September 30, 2008
Recorded Nashville, Tennessee
Length 66:41
Label Roadrunner
Trivium chronology
The Crusade
In Waves
Singles from Shogun
  1. "Kirisute Gomen"
    Released: August 11, 2008[3]
  2. "Into the Mouth of Hell We March"
    Released: September 21, 2008[4]
  3. "Down from the Sky"
    Released: March 1, 2009[5]
  4. "Throes of Perdition"
    Released: May 27, 2009[6]
Alternative cover
Special edition

Shogun (将軍 Shōgun?) About this sound listen  is the fourth studio album by American metal 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,[7] with the band stating that they chose not to work with Jason Suecof again as they wanted to explore new ideas.[8]

Background information[edit]

In an interview with Metal Injection,[9] Matt Heafy stated:

In an interview with Revolver,[10] Corey Beaulieu stated:


On June 16, 2008, Trivium posted a bulletin on their MySpace profile titled "New Album Update" with an embedded YouTube video,[11] implying that the album would be released on September 30, 2008, by Roadrunner. On July 31, 2008, the first track from the new album, "Kirisute Gomen", was made available as a free digital download through the Roadrunner Records website for 24 hours only. On August 8, 2008, the cover art for the album was revealed. On August 12, 2008, the fourth track from the new album, "Into the Mouth of Hell We March", was made available for purchase on iTunes. On September 1, 2008, the third track and first single from the album "Down from the Sky" was made available for purchase on iTunes, as well as in stores. On September 2, 2008, the music video for "Down from the Sky" was released (exclusively) on MySpace.[12] The band would later upload "Throes of Perdition" to their MySpace page on September 17, 2008 and on September 23, 2008 the complete album was added.[13]

Musical and lyrical themes[edit]

The reason we picked that word is because when you think of a word like shogun, it sparks all this vivid imagery and storytelling, especially when you look into the definition. It’s the highest ranking military general in Japanese times. We really dug it. We felt it was an appropriate name for the album.

— Matt Heafy,[14]

Shogun largely features a continuation of the thrash metal style[15][16][17] 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, 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".[14] When asked about the change in his singing style, he said: "It’s the kind of thing that happened naturally."[14] Shogun heavily features 7-string guitars and 5-string bass guitars, which had been used sparingly on The Crusade.

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.


Since its release, Shogun has sold over 300,000 copies worldwide.[18] In the United States in its first week of release sold 24,000 copies 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.[19]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating 4/5 stars[20]
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[15]
IGN 8.2/10 stars[1]
Rock Sound 8/10 stars[citation needed] 9.3/10 stars[21]
MetalSucks 4/5 stars[22]

The album received critical acclaim, with Chad Bowar of praising the band's progress on songwriting, as well as their musicianship.[20] 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."[20] Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic described Shogun as "Trivium's most challenging and ambitious album yet."[15] 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."[1] The band's ideas and influences were praised by Thompson, and considered Shogun the best of their first four albums.[1] Thompson also defined Shogun as the band's "best effort to date."[1]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Trivium, except where noted. 

Standard Edition
No. Title Length
1. "Kirisute Gomen"   6:28
2. "Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis"   6:49
3. "Down from the Sky"   5:35
4. "Into the Mouth of Hell We March"   5:52
5. "Throes of Perdition"   5:54
6. "Insurrection"   4:57
7. "The Calamity"   4:58
8. "He Who Spawned the Furies"   4:08
9. "Of Prometheus and the Crucifix"   4:40
10. "Like Callisto to a Star in Heaven"   5:25
11. "Shogun"   11:55
Total length:
Special edition DVD
  • The Making of Shogun (A behind-the-scenes documentary capturing the making of the album)
  • Shogun: The Riffs (Instructional videos for guitar and bass)



Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
US Billboard 200 23
Australian ARIA Albums Chart 4
Austrian Albums Chart 30
Belgian Albums Chart 72
Canadian Albums Chart 19
Dutch Albums Chart 49
Finnish Albums Chart 17
French Albums Chart 75
German Albums Chart 27
Greek Albums Chart 39
Hungarian Albums Chart 26
Irish Albums Chart 30
Italian Albums Chart 55
Japanese Oricon Albums Chart 17
New Zealand RIANZ Albums Chart 28
Norwegian Albums Chart 34
Swedish Albums Chart 65
Swiss Albums Chart 42
UK Albums Chart 17


  1. ^ a b c d e Thompson, Ed (October 6, 2008). "IGN: Shogun Review". Retrieved October 20, 2008. 
  2. ^ "CHOICE CUTS – TRIVIUM". The Circle Pit. Trisolino. Retrieved 10 October 2015.  Text " The Circle Pit" ignored (help)
  3. ^ "Kirisute Gomen - Trivium". Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Into The Mouth Of Hell We March". Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Down From The Sky - Trivium". Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Throes of Perdition". Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Metal Injection gets exclusive details on upcoming Trivium album". Metal Injection. January 30, 2008. Retrieved March 19, 2008. 
  8. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (February 2008). "Brutal 2008 Preview – Trivium". Revolver Magazine. 
  9. ^ Metal Injection interviews Trivium at NAMM 2008
  10. ^ Revolver Magazine, "Brutal 2008 Preview" issue
  11. ^ Trivium's YouTube video showing new album release date on YouTube
  12. ^
  13. ^ "TRIVIUM: Another New Song Available For Streaming". September 16, 2008. Retrieved September 17, 2008. 
  14. ^ a b c Bowar, Chad (September 27, 2008). "Trivium Interview: A Conversation with Matt Heafy". Retrieved October 9, 2008. 
  15. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Shogun > Review". Retrieved October 8, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Trivium - Shogun Review". September 30, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  17. ^ var authorId = "" by Ed Thompson. "Trivium – Shogun Review - Music Review at IGN". Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Trivium: Shogun First-Week Sales Revealed". October 8, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2008. 
  20. ^ a b c Bowar, Chad. "Trivium - Shogun Review". Retrieved October 8, 2008. 
  21. ^ Team, UG (April 23, 2009). "Shogun Review – Trivium". Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  22. ^ Neilstein, Vince (October 6, 2008). "TRIVIUM SILENCE THE HATERS; SHOGUN IS THE REAL DEAL". Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Trivium: More Shogun First-Week Chart Positions Revealed". October 13, 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 

External links[edit]