Ascendancy, and The Crusade were good, well-written albums in my opinion. Matt Heafy has the kind talent that either makes you hate him, or fills you with the desire to get better. The previous two albums culminate on Shogun. Shogun sounds like neither of their previous albums but rather fuses them along with some new sounds. If you like metal even slightly you will appreciate Shogun and the musicianship Trivium brings to the table!