Trivium – In Waves – Review

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There was a time when likening yourself to metal legends like Metallica was the edgiest, as well as most lucrative, thing you could do. The 80′s though have come and gone, left for the better I say. Which is why I was confused after Trivium released a strong debut effort in “Ember To Inferno” and a breakout metalcore sophomore album “Ascendancy,” they decided to give up being creative and start sounding like James Hetfeild and his aging metal misfits — embarking on records, “The Crusade” and “Shogun,” which sound like mirror images of Metallica‘s music. Needless to say, I was sickened and bored to tears by their musical direction — until they started slipping hints about their upcoming album, “In Waves.” Hidden website coding and album art dissection, the loss of original drummer Travis Smith, a revamped metal self-awareness — all signs of a group who was ready to step out of an influence’s shadow. And with “In Waves,” they have.

In what sounds like the beginning of a NIN song, thanks to elongated piano notes and digital fuzz, the brief but momentum-building intro “Capsizing The Sea” acts as the perfect catalyst for Trivium‘s title track “In Waves” — already, fans can hear a difference. Gone are the Hetfeild groan-y shouts, recycled 80′s riffs, and obnoxious solos that have infested the band and peers in recent years, such as Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine. In contrast, the tracks featuring Matt Heafy‘s staunch shouts and Nick’s quick percussion blast-beats mimic the American heavy metal sound of acts like Lamb Of God and All That Remains, while the clean vocals and melodic fretwork is structured around metalcore pioneers, Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall. A severe (and very welcome) detour from Trivium‘s recent mimicry tributes to the old metal gods, and a return to the energetic metalcore days of “Ascendancy.” Die-hard fans will love this record.

Trivium‘s fretwork is top-notch and that doesn’t change this time around, sticking to a fast paced drop-D tuning, Matt and Corey lay down some solid riffage, that for the most part outshines previous albums, like in the finger numbing outing “Forsake Not The Dream.” There are a few misses on “In Waves,” mostly revolving around throw away tracks that feel like filler — among them, “Black” with its snore-inducing clean singing and repetition. But as a revival of their older material, “In Waves” does a perfect job, Metallica fans be damned. To those oblivious and looking for a solid metalcore album, Trivium hits far more than it misses with capable singles and competent guitar work. [Staff]

Score: 3.5 (out of 5)

Release Date: August 9th, 2011
Record Label: Roadrunner Records
Genre: Metalcore

RIYL: All That Remains, Lamb Of God, Shadows Fall

Track Listing:
1. Capsizing the Sea
2. In Waves
3. Inception of the End
4. Dusk Dismantled
5. Watch the World Burn
6. Black
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

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