Shogun (Trivium album)
|Studio album by|
|Released||September 30, 2008|
|Recorded||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
79:18 (Special Edition)
|Singles from Shogun|
Shogun (将軍 Shōgun) listen (help·info) is the fourth studio album by American heavy 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 original 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.
In an interview with Metal Injection, Matt Heafy stated:
|“||We started demoing after Family Values, like October... We started writing some songs, demoing them. The demo quality is so good it sounds like a real album, which is awesome, so it gives us a really good basis to compare and fix shit, so we've been revising and going back in and changing shit up. We're doing another set of demos. I think we're probably going to have 30 songs to pick from and we're working with Nick Raskulinecz (who produced for Foo Fighters, Rush, Velvet Revolver, Shadows Fall and Stone Sour).||”|
|“||We want to capture the best ingredients of everything we've done. Each song has a little bit of everything, going between something heavy and then melodic, and then back to something heavy. So it has a really interesting balance. On The Crusade, Matt did almost all singing, so this time we're bringing back some of the screaming that's on Ascendancy.||”|
On June 16, 2008, Trivium posted a bulletin on their MySpace profile titled "New Album Update" with an embedded YouTube video, 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. 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.
Musical and lyrical themes
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, About.com
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.
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. In the United States in its first week of release sold 24,000 copies and debuted at number 23 on the Billboard 200 chart, and the top 100 in 18 other countries, including number 6 on the Japanese international charts, number 4 on the Canadian Hard Rock Charts, number 1 on the UK rock charts and number 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.
|Rock Sound|||
The album received critical acclaim, 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."
All tracks are written by Trivium, except where noted.
|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|
|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|
|Special Edition bonus tracks|
|12.||"Poison, the Knife or the Noose"||4:14|
|13.||"Upon the Shores"||5:21|
|14.||"Iron Maiden" (Iron Maiden cover)||3:44|
- 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)
- "Into the Mouth of Hell We March" was featured on the soundtrack for the 2008 video game Madden NFL 09.
- "Down from the Sky" was featured on the WWE SmackDown! Vs Raw 2010 soundtrack.
- In the special edition of the album, the song fades out earlier, making it a length of 11:22.
- Matt Heafy – lead vocals, guitar
- Corey Beaulieu – guitar, harsh backing vocals
- Paolo Gregoletto – bass guitar, clean backing vocals
- Travis Smith – drums, percussion
- Produced by Nick Raskulinecz
- Engineered by Paul Fig, Nick Raskulinecz, and Ben Terry
- Tracks 1–11 mixed by Colin Richardson
- Tracks 12–14 mixed by Jeffrey Rose
- Mix engineers – Jeffrey Rose, Martin "Ginge" Ford
- Assistant engineer – Matt Wiggins
- Pre-production engineer – Mark Lewis
- Mastered by Ted Jensen
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||4|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||30|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||72|
|Canadian Albums (Billboard)||19|
|Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)||48|
|Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)||17|
|French Albums (SNEP)||75|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||27|
|Greek Albums Chart||39|
|Hungarian Albums Chart||26|
|Irish Albums (IRMA)||30|
|Italian Albums (FIMI)||55|
|Japanese Oricon Albums Chart||17|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||28|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||34|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||42|
|UK Albums (OCC)||17|
|US Billboard 200||23|
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- Thompson, Ed (October 6, 2008). "IGN: Shogun Review". IGN.com. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Shogun > Review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved October 8, 2008.
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- on YouTube
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- "Norwegiancharts.com – Trivium – Shogun". Hung Medien.
- "Swisscharts.com – Trivium – Shogun". Hung Medien.
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