Title: In Waves
Release Date: 5th August 2011
Label: Roadrunner Records
Many can remember when TRIVIUM was just a small fry, barely making ripples across metal with their debut album ‘Ember To Inferno’. Almost everyone in the band was barely out of high school (namely the vocalist) and they were just barely scratching the surface of their potential. Since then, they’ve come a long way, with some great successes and also quite a few downfalls. The album ‘Ascendancy’ put them on the map with a great collection of mainstream, but very likeable, metalcore songs that had an excellent blend of bellowing harsh vocals and also clean vocals. Around this time the whole growl/ sing thing was quite popular, but TRIVIUM didn’t over-use them in a predictable pattern like using the clean vocals for every chorus or bridge with the harsh vocals taking the verses. In fact, they were used sparsely, so it made them all the more valuable. Then disaster struck (or so the critics say). On ‘The Ascendancy’, TRIVIUM experimented and tried to make a thrash heavy metal album that completely destroyed the ‘Ascendancy’ legacy by coming off as METALLICA rip offs. It just wasn’t the same. On the plus side, they did introduce the ability to create “epic songs”, which they attempted again with their last release, ‘Shogun’. However, while ‘Shogun’ was revamped in a bit of the older TRIVIUM style in trying to be mainstream metalcore, it just didn’t have enough to draw that much appreciation or attention, save for the final title track.
Now, with ‘In Waves’, TRIVIUM seems to have gotten back on the right rails to creating a good metal album. This is just as good as ‘Ascendancy’, if not better. They forsake the epic but instead make every track here worth listening to as opposed to kind of tossing in fillers here and there while clearing a path so one can focus on the epic lengthy track. The introduction of ‘In Waves’ is melodic and slow with piano, a great foreboding opening that grabs from the start. Then the title track jumps in, and instantly fans will be able to tell that this is right back to the better days of metalcore. Featuring a cross between a growl and a bellow, the vocals come off as ferocious as ever with the clean vocals just as good, although throughout the album TRIVIUM does seem to step into that typical “harsh verses, clean vocal” pattern that can get rather predictable, following along the lines of other modern metal bands who have made it big with that style such as FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. However, the music is superb with a mix of chugging riffs that thunder along and extra melody heaped within, along with a few good solos to boot. ‘Watch The World Burn’ is one of those single tracks to look for since it features the radio friendly pattern of letting the clean vocals do much of the work with a rather repetitive chorus. It’s not the best way to show off Heafy’s talents on singing (that would go for ‘Of All These Yesterdays’ - the album’s metal ballad), but it is very catchy. Other highlights to look for are ‘Caustic Are The Ties That Bind’ and ‘Built To Fall’ which also have that ‘Ascendancy’ touch to them by having great hooks and choruses, while the repetitive lyrics are a bit of a detraction still, but bearable.
TRIVIUM even delves a bit into melodic death metal with the track ‘Dusk Dismantled’, which is the only track that is all harsh vocals all the way through, making it one of the more memorable since it breaks formula. While the outro seems like a bit of letdown with ‘Leaving This World Behind’ from all the background noise compared to the very sound introduction ‘Capsizing The Sea’, ‘In Waves’ stands strong in the TRIVIUM discography. It seems the band have finally gotten out of their slump and are back to creating engaging metalcore that somewhat draws on the mainstream sound, but it is no longer copying METALLICA or any other band out there directly. TRIVIUM is back with a vengeance and fans should be very pleased. Perhaps one secret to ‘In Waves’ success is that it took three years to create rather than the rushing of trying to get an album out every two years, or in the rather forgettable ‘Crusade’s’ case, one year. Let that be a lesson to you all: music that takes time to mature and flourish is much better in the end than a rushed effort due to pressure from fans, who never seem to get enough these days. A week after a band releases a new album, they already ask about the next one. Hopefully ‘In Waves’ will provide enough stable tracks to any metal fan’s taste (as this is a very accessible album) that will allow them to be content until the next album crops up in a lengthy, but due time.
01. Capsizing the Sea - 1:30
02. In Waves - 5:02
03. Inception of the End - 3:48
04. Dusk Dismantled - 3:47
05. Watch the World Burn - 4:53
06. Black - 3:27
07. A Skyline's Severance - 4:51
08. Built to Fall - 3:08
09. Caustic Are the Ties That Bind - 5:34
10. Forsake Not the Dream - 5:20
11. Chaos Reigns - 4:07
12. Of All These Yesterdays - 4:21
13. Leaving This World Behind - 1:32
Matt Heafy - Guitars, Vocals
Corey Beaulieu - Guitars, Vocals
Paolo Gregoletto - Bass, Vocals
Nick Augusto - Drums
Total: 8.5 / 10