Over the past eight years, Trivium has always held a special place in the metal community. 2005’s Ascendancy saw Trivium in the public eye with thrashy, Metallica-influenced grooves and modern metalcore fused together. With it arguably being their strongest album to date, there was enormous pressure to maintain that trademark sound. The harsh criticism towards 2008’s envelope-pushing Shogun, therefore, is justifiable, as it explored territory beyond the straight thrash-and-burn of previous works. Unfortunately, the pressure seemed to have given way to an unneeded return to form – In Waves, Trivium’s fifth full-length release, is the washed-out resurrection of Trivium’s Ascendancy roots.
Whereas Shogun had potential to be a springboard for more experimentation and diversity for the Florida-based metal outfit, their newest effort is a cautious retreat to the familiar tunes of their sophomore trophy. The crunchy guitar riffs and solos are impressive, as always, and Nick Augusto shines on this record as Trivium’s new drummer, but it’s Matt Heafy’s ever-familiar vocals that suspend Trivium in time, taking them back to their acclaimed selves. The harsh, sometimes even guttural screams on tracks like “Dusk Dismantled” are balanced by the softer vocals, like the serenade “Of All These Yesterdays”. And the Metallica influence manifests itself in songs like "Black" and "Watch the World Burn". The confusion in identity is present, and also magnified with Heafy embracing both sides of the coin – unwillingly so, previously expressing in interviews that harsh vocals were never something the band had much care for.
The lyrical themes are as dishonest as their execution, for Trivium has readily fallen into the snare of modern metal, focusing on needlessly negative lyrical themes so as to please angsty young crowds, instead of expressing maturity of the band. And with that, the album ends up running very flat and one-dimensional despite the haphazard meanderings into various styles of metal, and manages to not once open up in earnest to the listener. This is made up for with crushing guitar riffs, heard in tracks like “Chaos Reigns”, but the mythological themes of Shogun are long gone.
Trivium fans might not get a slap in the face when realizing that In Waves is an attempt to please, but the metal community may be hesitant to accept a band turning on its heels in the face of adversity. The potential is clearly present among the band members to outshine their previous work, and a lot of that is seen in this release, but the inconsistency on the record can’t be hidden by glossy production. While not a terrible album, In Waves could end up being a black mark on Trivium’s track record, as it presents nothing new to the metal world, instead recycling everything that made them great and packaging it in a dark and ominous album cover.
2. In Waves
3. Inception of the End
4. Dusk Dismantled
5. Watch the World Burn
7. A Skyline's Severance
8. Built to Fall
9. Caustic Are the Ties that Bind
10. Forsake Not the Dream
11. Chaos Reigns
12. Of All These Yesterdays
13. Leaving This World Behind
Trivium is a band from Orlando, Florida. Their first album, Ember To Inferno, was released on Lifeforce Records in 2003, while their second album Ascendancy was released via Roadrunner Records on March 22nd, 2005. They recently released their third album, "The Crusade", on which the band's sound changed slightly, replacing screaming with clean singing and settling on a heavily Metallica-influenced style. They even play their older songs in this style now and even contributed to a Metallica cover album 'Master Of Puppets- ReMastered' playing the title track. ... read more