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Trivium - "In Waves" (CD)

Trivium - "In Waves" CD cover image

"In Waves" track listing:

1. Capsizing The Sea (1:31)
2. In Waves (5:04)
3. Inception Of The End (3:48)
4. Watch The World Burn (3:46)
5. Dusk Dismantled (4:54)
6. Black (3:28)
7. Built To Fall (3:09)
8. Caustic Are the Ties That Bind (5:35)
9. A Skyline’s Severance (4:52)
10. Forsake Not The Dream (5:20)
11. Chaos Reigns (4:07)
12. Of All These Yesterdays (4:28)
13. Leaving This World Behind (1:39)

Reviewed by on August 8, 2011

"'In Waves' feels like the band ignored everything they’ve done on the past few albums and took the safe route. Nonetheless, Trivium still does metalcore better than most anybody else, and fans will go gaga over the unofficial sequel to 'Ascendancy.'"

After the retro throwback to thrash metal on “The Crusade,” Trivium found their calling with “Shogun.” The album gave their sound depth and maturity that it had been lacking for a while. The band tosses all that away with their fifth album, “In Waves.” The metalcore formula that won them acclaim in 2005 is pried from the coffin where it laid buried for years, dusted off, and given a sturdy polishing. While it still sounds good, the polish can’t mask the decay that comes with age.

This is not the same four young guys that went into the studio with Jason Suecof for their sophomore album; not just metaphorically speaking, either. Long-time drummer Travis Smith has been replaced by the capable Nick Augusto, who acts as the workhorse of the rhythm section. He’s not as flashy as Smith was, but has the same tight playing that Smith was praised for. That’s due to a lot of these songs being toned down, escaping the grandiose side for a punctual technique.

The title track is an explosive way to open “In Waves,” building from a lengthy intro started on “Capsizing The Sea.” The clean/harsh vocal partnership, occasional breakdowns, and jaw-dropping lead guitars are all a re-welcoming to a sound that defined their early days. “Dusk Dismantled” and “Built To Fall” have the band looking to the past with the added perspective of road-torn warriors. There’s no originality here, but these three tracks are still enjoyable regardless.

That sentence is the best way to describe “In Waves.” A few head bangers in “Chaos Reigns” and “Black,” along with a high quotient of energy, makes the album tolerable. There’s just nothing here that rivals the catchiness of “Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr” or the thrash attack spewed out on “To The Rats.” The songs in the last paragraph are the closest ones to match up to the quality the band became known for in the metalcore genre.

“Of All These Yesterdays” is Trivium’s attempt at a ballad. The slow acoustic guitars are supported by effective vocals from Matt Heafy. Like any other ballad, the track gets heavy near the end, but never loses sight of its melodic purpose. “Caustic Are The Ties That Bind” is tucked in the middle of the album, a highlight due to its epic scope and wonderful clean break that shows diversity in an album short on it.

“In Waves” takes a step backwards for Trivium in terms of trademarking their own sound. The dual guitar harmonies are still sharp and the band comes off as poised for future success, but it’s at the sacrifice of progress. “In Waves” feels like the band ignored everything they’ve done on the past few albums and took the safe route. Nonetheless, Trivium still does metalcore better than most anybody else, and fans will go gaga over the unofficial sequel to “Ascendancy.”

Highs: Solid vocals, great guitar work, band does metalcore better than most in the genre

Lows: A step backwards after the excellent "Shogun," few tracks as memorable as the material on "Ascendancy" and "Ember To Inferno"

Bottom line: The successor to "Ascendancy" has finally come with "In Waves," though fans that enjoyed the band's last two albums may be disappointed by that.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)