In Waves

rating icon 7.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Capsizing The Sea
02. In Waves
03. Inception Of The End
04. Watch The World Burn
05. Dusk Dismantled
06. Black
07. Built To Fall
08. Caustic Are the Ties That Bind
09. A Skyline's Severance
10. Forsake Not The Dream
11. Chaos Reigns
12. Of All These Yesterdays
13. Leaving This World Behind

TRIVIUM set the bar pretty high for themselves with 2008's "Shogun". While the band's success elicited several obligatory "sell-out" chants, the album itself packed enough punch to knock the wind out of any argument stating the Floridians had gone soft. An aggressive performance coupled with bold songwriting saw TRIVIUM take their place near the top of the modern thrash dogpile. After repeated listens, "In Waves" gives very few reasons for anyone to think they're losing any ground whatsoever. That being said, this isn't the album that will launch them into the airspace reserved for metal's elite either.

A solidly crafted showcasing of TRIVIUM's songwriting skill, "In Waves" is easily the band's most accessible effort to date. With that come pros and cons. On one hand, longtime TRIVIUM fans are going to greet this one with horns raised high. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to see more than a new fan jumping on the bandwagon when this one floods the market. On the other hand, it really seems like the boys were playing it safe here. "In Waves" doesn't suffer from any poorly written songs, boring moments or other examples of "filler," but I do hear some moments that struck me as being written with the arena and/or radio in mind. You can't really place too much criticism on TRIVIUM if that was indeed the case. They have, after all, reached that level and songs like the title track and "Built To Fall" feel tailor-made for that audience. Some might even use the word formulaic when describing them.

Mandatory crowd-pleasers aside, "In Waves" does offer some respectable examples of modern thrash at its finest. Inherently dark and driven by some of Matt Heafy's angriest growling yet, "Dusk Dismantled" is among the disc's heaviest tunes. Flavored with loads of melodious lead work, "A Skyline Severance" comes in a close a second, while balls-out tunes like "Inception of the End" and "Chaos Reigns" are guaranteed pit-starters. A nod to TRIVIUM's roots, "Caustic Ties That Bind" boasts a solid dose of infectious classic metal riffing. "Foresake Not The Dream" takes a similar approach, but carries more of post-Gothenburg arena metal feel. The softer-sided "Of All These Yesterdays" delivers enough emotion to warrant the inclusion of a ballad-y track.

If I had to take my pick of modern metal albums to take with me on a desert island, "In Waves" would most likely be on that lists. I'm not in love with this one, but I didn't get sick of it after repeated listens either. TRIVIUM did a commendable job putting these tunes together. Heafy and fellow guitarist Corey Beaulieu play well off of one another, adding just enough nuance to keep these otherwise solidly structured tunes interesting. Some more thunder from new drummer Nick Augusto would have been nice, but then again I feel like the album as a whole could have benefitted from some good old-fashion clamor and chaos. For what it's worth, however, "In Waves" is a concrete outing that deserves, and even at times, demands your attention.

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