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Sunday, 23 November 2008

I stand corrected...

Despite my less than positive reaction to "Kirisute Gomen" as a taster of Trivium's then-forthcoming album, "Shogun" ("All Hope IS Still There", Sunday, 3 August 2008), I got an email through the other day about an intimate gig the Floridian metallers were playing about 5 minutes from my office on December 9th. Seeing as "Ascendancy" is one of my top metal albums of all time, I thought I'd dip my hand in my pocket and further add to the ticket pile. I also invested in "Shogun", a touch reluctantly but I hate being at gigs and not knowing the lion's share of the material.

My laptop has been out of action for a few days so I've had "Shogun", AC/DC's new joint "Black Ice" and "Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire" by Hatebreed, which Si-KO leant to me, all sitting on my table waiting to be uploaded onto the ol' MP3 (strictly speaking an MP4 but let's not split hairs...). I finally got "Shogun" on and hit play.

Opens with "Kirisute Gomen" but this time, it sounded a hell of a lot better. Still not perfect but a shit load more guts than when I first downloaded it a couple of months back. "This ain't too bad", thinks I. As with "Dying In Your Arms" from "Ascendancy", "Shogun" has a stand-out single and soon-to-be-confirmed crowd pleaser "Into The Mouth Of Hell We March". However, there is a pure fucking raw aggression to tunes like "He Who Spawned The Furies", proving that Corey Beaulieu has more than enough ability to take on the guttural growling since Matt Heafy has relinquished responsibility of the growly stuff. There are shades of Devildriver drums and Travis Smith has clearly been given free rein on the double pedal; something that was sorely missed with "The Crusade". "Shogun" is the album that "The Crusade" should have been - more mature than "Ascendancy" but with the passion and ferocity intact. Instead, "The Crusade" undid a shit load of the hard work that Trivium had put in, and wrote them off to many as another MOR Metallica covers band. "Shogun" corrects this - December 9th, 300 people, this lot on stage. What a fucking night it'll be.

"Black Ice"? Pure, old fashioned AC/DC. 30-odd years after the seminal "Back In Black" album, they've come back with another absolute winner. It's just a continuation of tunes about rockin', rollin, humpin' and-a drinkin' and to be honest, I can understand why their UK gigs sold out in about 0.3 seconds. It's still not polished, Brian Johnson's vocals are still like a strangled chicken and the fact that Angus Young still insists on dressing like a schoolboy well into his 50's is bordering on laughable but you know what? They can get away with it. Why? Because they don't fucking care. And that's rock and roll.

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