Longtime Trivium fans seem to be somewhat divided on the subject of the band's more recent offerings, and understandably so: their last three albums have, in this writer's humble opinion, been hit or miss, at best. But I think even the most jaded Trivium fan would agree that the band's last great record, and arguably its best, is still 2008's Shogun.
Personally, I still have a soft spot in my beard for 2005's Ascendancy, both because that was the album that introduced me to Matt Heafy and Company, and because that was back when I was first getting into Metal with a fucking capital M (and yes, I know, purists among you might argue that Trivium is anything but straight-up metal, but whatever). But even I can appreciate the fact that Shogun represents Trivium firing on all cylinders: they took the energy and intensity of Ascendancy and alloyed it with the chops and songwriting skills they honed with 2006's overindulgent The Crusade.
The result is a collection of tracks that strikes a balance between heavy and melodic, rife with metaphor and symbolism and mythological references, and complete with some tasty riff and leads for the discerning air guitarists out there. Since I like to start at the start, and since its title is a badass phrase from the history of feudal Japan, I'm throwing it back to album-opener "Kirisute Gomen" for your belated Thursday post. Exercise your right to cut and leave and crank this one.