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To Trivium's credit, they realized the bomb they had in their hands with Shogun and swiftly abandoned that overblown avenue. In Waves drops nearly all of the clinical thrash influence that had begun seeping into the group's formula in varying degrees on both the record directly preceding it and The Crusade. This should signal a substantial decrease in memorability, but the group has wisely attempted what is essentially the second coming of Ascendancy. As such, metalcore dominates the genre palette, with occasional deviations into more experimental waters regarding song structure and efficiently-picked palm mutes that exist as the final gasp of the style put forth during the group's weaker period.
While it goes without saying that In Waves is an improvement over Shogun, it's not all wine and roses. I have to stress that while Trivium was never an original group by any stretch of the imagination, they hit a relatively enviable stride with Ascendancy, and through that the band more or less stumbled into mainstream recognition and (arguable) greatness. Take the same formula as before, accrue six years of exposure to the mainstream music business, and something similar to In Waves should begin to take shape. To speak in broader terms, the band is seriously forcing a stylistic reversal here, and the music suffers somewhat as a result. I almost want to give Trivium a free pass on this album's terms alone, as they had boxed themselves into a corner that required them to either sell their souls or cut and run, and they clearly attempted the latter on the approach path to In Waves.
The controversial departure of Smith and interjection of newcomer Nick Augusto behind the kit was a wise choice in hindsight. With a style clearly more rooted in death metal than any of the genres Trivium draws influence from, he forces the band to scramble and improvise just to keep up with him. Heafy has disclosed in interviews that he had to significantly reign Augusto's abilities in just to keep the music running at a balanced gradation. Despite being the odd man out in more ways than one, Augusto is a good fit for the group and helps draw the listener's attention away from many of In Waves' less than stellar inner-workings. I, for one, would be interested in listening to what he could do while running at full speed, as he still manages to rip out some blastbeats along with a few creative fills and atypical patterns at multiple junctures here. Overall, not a bad debut at all.
I really have issues with some of the riffs here, though. Trivium has never been a band to include many (if at all) breakdowns and lowest common denominator crap like that, but for some reason there is a lot of that here. Check out that tepid, stop-start mess of a riff that constitutes the majority of the title track. I can't even say that it grooves nicely, as it just plods like no other, occasionally giving way to the otherwise passable chorus. Sometimes the band comes damn close to their primary goal here, as "Caustic Are the Ties that Bind" could easily slip into Ascendency's procession without anybody being able to tell the difference. "A Skyline's Severance" is a beast of its own making, though. Augusto really gets cooking during the verses and the riffs are quite effective in isolation. It certainly helps that In Waves boasts a peerless guitar tone, but it is decent all the same. Other than the lame ass half-ballad "Of All These Yesterdays," nothing here is truly vomit-worthy by any measure. The band attempts a similar coup with "Forsake Not the Dream," but its more balanced disposition works in its favor and it ends up being one of the highlights.
In fact, In Waves is passable on the whole and is a required pickup if you really enjoyed Ascendancy. While I have the privilege of knowing that the band stumbled again immediately afterwards with Vengeance Falls, this came off as a consummate return to form after the meandering and atrocious Shogun. The band overreaches a bit as far as re-implementing their older style, but there are a number of tracks here that are well worth the time of fans of this style. Some of the modern influences hurt it a bit, but for Trivium you gotta take what you can get, and I'll take this.
Trivium is a band which has evolved and combined different styles, starting as a cool metalcore band they turned with time into trash and heavy metal and improving their style into something pretty cool, as a proof, 'Shogun' is a very solid medley of these 'metal elements'. It's a great album with pretty cool songs so... What's going on with 'In Waves'?
For Trivium's fifth album it isn't any surprise that is similar to 'Shogun'. There are so many pretty cool songs but also some others aren't as good as the others. 'Inception of the End', 'Dusk Dismantled' and 'Forsake Not the Dream' sound heavy with powerful drums and guitars, but also the tracks are kind of inconsistent and repetitive, even if those tracks were made to fill the album, they could have been better and the same happens with some bonus tracks like the teidous 'Shattering the Skies Above'.
But for most of the songs I have to say that they're impressive! The songs sound heavy and even if they are kind of depressive (a caracteristic for Trivium's songs) they're so fucking cool, with powerful drums, cool solos and awesome riffs. Just to say some of these songs we have 'Watch the World Burn' wich is strong and fluid, 'Built to Fall' is a proof of the right blance between a popular single and an awesome epic song. Even 'In Waves' is pretty cool despite being annoyingly repetitive and catching.
Even if it isn't perfect and neither better than 'Shogun', 'In Waves' is a very cool album and it worths listening for. At times it can be kind of tedious if you're not used to Trivium's style or if you dislike it but it still being pretty cool.
Trivium really built up a lot of hype when it came to their newest release In Waves. They started out as a aggressive metalcore band with lots of screaming, then for The Crusade, they went to a melodic thrash metal side completely. Shogun was like the mixture of both styles and really showcased their talent and where they stand at that point in their careers while reflecting everything they’ve already done. They promised that In Waves will be their return to their roots in Ascendency and Ember To Inferno, and they were mostly right. I had a little doubt to this, as this is also their first album with their new drummer Nick Augusto (ex-Maruta), who was in a band with Paulo Gregoletto (bassist) before Trivium called Metal Militia.
They did not completely ditch the singing and bring back the rawness as I was under the impression that they would do. Not saying that I don’t like it, I absolutely love both their styles. But I would be more comfortable by saying this album is a continuation of what Shogun was, as this album shows both sides equally like their previous album had done. The first song “In Waves” starts off with a scream filled breakdown a’la Ascendency, then heads into the melodic side of things that sounds like it was taken straight off of The Crusade. This song doesn’t have the complicated riffs that fill just about every other Trivium song, other than the solo halfway through the song, and instead opt to make it simple yet catchy.
The true shredding begins with “Inception Of The End,” which brings the energy that was promised and goes beyond that. The music is strictly metalcore, but the lyrics go back and forth between the epic singing and the awesome screams that made them famous in the first place. The drums are really put out more and Augusto really goes out of his way to provide more depth into the song instead of just being your everyday standard drummer that just keeps a song going. I feel that he will be establishing himself as a true force within the next few years.
The track “Watch The World Burn” is a track that shows Trivium branching out more beyond their usual sound of either metalcore or thrash. It’s more of a progressive track overall with metalcore influences and a melodic thrash chorus line in my opinion. The build up into riffs, then a heavy prog bridge with epic vocals over the song, then thrash chorus, this track has it all.
One track that really brings me back to the good ol’ days is “A Skyline Severance.” It is very reminiscent of the tracks “Ascendency” and “Drowned and Torn Asunder” in terms of how the track is structured. It’s got a soft yet heavy build up, before heading into the faster realm of music, then straight into the first verse. Matt Heafy (vocalist and lead guitarist) exhibits a deeper screaming that I haven’t really heard before, but it’s spread throughout the song. The guitar work on this song is one of Trivium’s all time best, and the drums really stand out more than ever. They really speed up the song around the two minute eighteen second mark by working in tandem with the guitars and fueling each other, all before bringing out a solo, verse, then another truly epic solo that really stands among anything they’ve ever done.
This album has shown the world that Trivium will never fade out of sight. Although I don’t really think that In Waves fully brought them back to their roots like they’ve been saying over the past few months, those moments are definitely there that have been missing since Ascendency. The song structuring for a few of the songs has shown a new side of Trivium, and they have refined the mixture of both their metalcore and melodic thrash metal sides into one cosmic entity. Another stand out track that I have saved as a flavor saver is “Caustic Are the Ties That Bind.” It’s something entirely new and definitely worth checking out.
This is my message to Trivium: After hearing this album, I would absolutely love to see you all try your hand into the progressive metal genre. Maybe as an EP or something, but I have faith that it will show yet another epic side of Trivium that would bring in more new fans and not alienate the long time fans of your music.
Trivium is most definitely a band that likes to change it's sound every album. While I liked Ember To Inferno and especially Ascendancy, I wasn't really happy with the change of sound on The Crusade. Where did the harsh vocals go? Why is Heafy trying to copy Hetfield? Along came Shogun, said to blend the style of Ascendancy and The Crusade. And indeed, harsh vocals were back, but they didn't feel as real as on Ascendancy, neither did I like the overall style still.
Now, a couple of years later, Trivium releases In Waves. At first I had a hard time getting into this album, mainly due to the lack of inconsistency on this album. There were heavy songs, like Dusk Dismantled and Chaos Reigns, that reminded me of old day Trivium, but there were really soft songs on there too. It seemed to jump from one high to another, without making sense.
But after a while I managed to get into it and really appreciate the huge difference between all those songs. I strongly advice to listen to the Special Edition of the album, because otherwise you'll miss out on some really good songs. I'm speaking of Drowning In Slow Motion and A Grey So Dark, both - in my eyes - really good songs. Also, you'll miss out on a remastered version of Shattering The Skies Above and the acceptable Sepultura cover Slave New World.
The regular album though of course has enough great songs to keep things interesting. While writing this review, I was trying to make a list of 'best songs' of this album, but that was just plain impossible. This is really because of the inconsistency I mentioned before. Every song is so different and every song will have it's haters and lovers, it's good points and it's bad ones.
For example, In Waves kicks of with a breakdown, that serves as chorus to the song, and then evolves into a softer song. At first, it really doesn't seem to make sense, but it works. Then, next song Inception Of The End really sounds like Ascendancy-era Trivium, with Dusk Dismantled continuing this path, but even more furious. Next on, Watch The World Burn, one of the most catchy songs on the album, that completely caught me off guard after those two heavier songs.
This album will be love it or hate. I personally love most of it, but if I would have reviewed this album a couple of weeks ago, I would've hardly been able to give it a 65% instead of the present 82%.
I never really got addicted to Trivium and thought it was a hyped band but they recently convinced me with an energizing and very intimate performance with Dream Theater. These guys really rocked the show and I happened to appreciate some of their songs. They didn't quite fit to the progressive metal heroes but as I am a rather open minded metal fan I accepted them and had some fun at the show. But on an album, it's a different world than on stage and the same problems I already detected before are still evident on the band's latest record.
This band has though a lot of potential. After a very atmospheric and well chosen intro called "Capsizing The Sea", Trivium kick off the title track of their new album and this song is easily the best one on the album. It mixes mall core screams with a catchy chorus, sharp thrash riffs and some memorable melodies as well as some atmospheric ingredients.
This mixture is perfect but instead of keeping the pace, Trivium get drowned back into exchangeable, faceless and mediocre modern metal tracks that fail to establish any kind of magic, atmosphere or emotion. I guess tracks like "Dusk Dismantled" or "Forsake Not The Dream" are simply not my cup of tea as I can't find anything interesting, addicting or original about them. It's just boring mall core to me with bashing verses and radio kitsch choruses. But there are also even more melodic and commercial tracks like "Black" or "Watch The World Burn" that remind me of bands such as Rise Against which I can't stand neither. Maybe I am already too old for this kind of trendy music which I don't really stand or understand.
There are still some great interludes such as the dark "Leaving This World Behind" or the bonus track "Ensnare The Sun" and also catchy tracks like the second single "Bulit To Fall" that could get some radio airplay and sounds a little bit like Godsmack. That's nothing original at all but pretty good radio rock and will help the band to get even more attention. Each time the band gets a little bit calmer and more progressive as in "Of All These Yesterdays", they are able to develop a slightly melancholic and addicting atmosphere but these highlights are too rare to raise the rating of the record up by much.
In the end, the album is worth to be tried out and contains a couple of catchy moments but it still doesn't justify the hype surrounding those new American metal sensations. Those who didn't like Trivium in the past won't change their mind by much with this effort. Those who have always adored the band may find that this new record is one of their most solid ones. I recognize and honour the band's live efforts and would like to see them again but they can't convince on a full length album yet and still have a long way to go to merit all the attention they already got.
I will admit I am an unabashed Trivium fan. Well of their metalcore stuff anyways, for the most part The Crusade was just not my cup of tea. But still, I have been a fan since Ascendancy and barring TC, in my opinion they make some pretty aurally pleasing metalcore.
With In Waves the band seems like they are both experimenting and regressing. IW is in fact a mix of Ascendancy and Shogun with an experimental edge to it. Now I dont mean experimental in the avante garde prog kind of way. In Waves is quite melodic, probably even more so than any of their previous albums.
So where as Shogun had more singing than screaming this album does the opposite. Dont get me wrong there is still a lot of singing here but it was toned down a little bit more and the harsh vox were given a little more room. But luckily its not forced. And not one style dominates the album either. We have songs like Black and Of All These Yesterdays where there is mainly clean singing, while In Waves and A Skyline's Reverence with mainly harsh vocals. The rest of the songs run the gamut being anywhere in between. But I guess the main thing here is if you didnt like matt's voice on previous albums, you still wont like it here.
One thing I am glad for is that Nick Augusto took over on the drums. His drumming is a little more inventive and interesting than Travis Smith's. I mean Smith's drumming just became so...formulaic and boring. He got a little better with Shogun but Augusto's drumming here is all around better. The addition of blast beats into the songs also makes them feel heavier, probably heavier than they really are.
As always I enjoy the guitar riffs created by Heafy. For all the crap they get, Trivium have some of the better solos in the metalcore genre. They are technical to a degree but also seem to be written to add more to enjoyability to the song than just being able to say they are technical. They are actually a real joy to listen to. The thrash riffs are pretty much gone and the band is back to their Ascendancy era sound.
In Waves is a good listen if you are a fan of Trivium, or metalcore in general. The band has always been more metal than hardcore in my eyes anyways. It should appeal especially to those who just enjoy melodic metal. The only problem I really have with the album is that it could be a little shorter but that's not really too big of an issue since I still like hearing the songs. In Waves might not change people's minds about Trivium but it should be something fans can be happy about getting.
Originally written @ http://abaddonsmetalshop.blogspot.com/
Trivium are back! Three years since Shogun, they're back refreshed, revitalised and with a brand new drummer. And they most certainly are back with a vengeance.
I've been a big fan of the Floridian quartet ever since Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr exploded onto the metal scene way back in 2005. At the time, my exposure to harder ends of metal had been quite limited and they opened my eyes to a new level of technicality and aggression, inspiring me to listen into their influences and discover a whole new world I'd previously neglected.
While their Roadrunner debut was a modern masterpiece I felt that their following works, The Crusade and Shogun never really lived up to what they achieved with Ascendancy. Don't get me wrong, they are by no means bad albums, they're just not quite as good. For me, Trivium seemed to be in identity crisis, they were neither one thing nor the other. Neither album really flowed as well as Ascendancy did and it was a crying shame, because trust me, put the songs out live and they're all winners.
With In Waves though, things are different. Trivium have really found themselves. What we have here is a band who have written music at their own pace, in their own time, without the pressure of the label breathing down their necks to get something put out. There was three years between this record and the previous one, the longest gestation period of any album they have done (obviously there was also significant touring in between them) and it shows.
The songwriting is superb. Trivium have always had a knack of writing very lyrically interesting songs and In Waves is no exception. Songs of death, destruction, love, loss, heartbreak and devastation are all weaved through haunting melodies, aggressive posturing and guttural roaring. Matt Heafy (vocals, guitar) has pulled something special out of the bag. He's doing things with his voice that you would never expect. His trademark screaming has evolved to include proper death metal low end grows/roars while his clean work has a clarity and tone that surpasses anything he's ever done before. Caustic Are The Ties That Bind is a perfect showcase with him going from brutal screaming in the verses to a beautiful clean melody as the middle section builds up. Watch The World Burn and Built To Fall remind us that as well as punishingly heavy, Trivium can be as catchy as any pop band you'd care to mention. Both songs push forward anthemic choruses that drill into your mind and set up camp for the night. Built To Fall is starting to get some mainstream radio play over in the States and rightly so, its a brilliant song, hopefully it will get Trivium out there to even more fans.
The songwriting prowess has also encapsulated the musical arrangements with the boys trying out some new ideas, such as the title track featuring an ABA arrangement, looping a thundering one note riff with a melodic extending verse/chorus. Certainly not what I expected from Trivium but a welcome change from verse/chorus/verse/chorus/solo/chorus/end which seems to trap most modern metal bands these days.
New drummer boy Nick Augusto must be praised for his stellar work and could quite possibly be the keystone which has helped Trivium hit their stride. Nick introduces new ideas into the mix such as black metal style blast beats and breakneck double kick work. Bonus track on the special edition Shattering The Skies Above is the perfect showcase of Nick's skills. Previously coming from a grind core background has paid off as he has the chops to take Trivium into a thunderous new direction. Its also worth noting how well he locks in with Paolo Gregoletto's virtuoso bass playing. It's like the two were spawned from the furies at the same time.
And I can't forget the guitar work. Simply put, its fucking amazing. Trivium have always been a technically impressive band but Matt and Corey Beaulieu have clearly been practicing for this album. The riffs, melodies and leads are a master-class in how-its-done. There's plenty of standout songs for it but for me Inception Of The End and Dusk Dismantled showcase the best playing the pair have laid down since Ascendancy.
It's worth mentioning that I'm reviewing the special edition of the CD and its probably one of the best value for money CD packages I've bought in a long time. Featuring well over an hour of solid metal is all well and good, but also packaging a DVD with an 8 song live set, a 40 minute documentary and the lead music video, well, it's just spoiling us. There's a lot of enjoyment to be had from the 18 tracks including a bloody heavy version of Sepultura's Slave New World.
This is one of the best albums so far in a year replete with big name releases (new Machine Head and Dream Theater albums are due out in the next month or so) and Trivium just keep proving how powerful and relevant a band they are. The next question is, can they follow this up with something even better? I surely hope so.
Trivium is just one of those bands. From the beginning, they’ve polarized opinions regardless of the direction they take. Some will love In Waves, some will hate it. This review is coming from a disenchanted Trivium fan. I say disenchanted because even though I liked their second album Ascendancy quite a bit when it came out, Trivium has not quite been growing as rapidly as my musical tastes, and therefore colors this album very differently for me.
This disenchantment mostly speaks to my criticism of the album. Trivium seems to be experimenting a bit on this album. With the explicit goal in mind to showcase their songwriting skills, they took the risk to try some new stuff. With risks like this come the consequences, as not all of their experiments worked. Most of the songs on this essentially metalcore album are caught between a sort of rock radio feel and a groove feel, and far too many of the songs sound the same. The tracks that stood out for me were the songs that broke free of this groovy rock radio mold. Songs like Caustic Are the Ties That Bind, sticking a bit closer to their thrashier elements, and Chaos Reigns, incorporating a couple different elements into the mix, managed to catch my ear. This has the unfortunate consequence of making the rest of the album sound rather flat in comparison. To me this felt like an album of mostly filler with a couple standout tracks that only serve to make it sound confused.
This, however, is not the only view on this album I possess. Though the standout tracks dwarf the rest of the album and make it sound confused, Trivium has shown me they can write good songs. Sure, they wrote maybe six or seven good songs and turned it into thirteen songs (eighteen if you bought the special edition like I did), but those six or seven songs were, as I said, good songs. This is a point in the right direction for Trivium. The band members previously mentioned that had former drummer Travis Smith stayed in the band, then they probably would have split up. The new influx of talent in Nick Augusto could be what’s contributing to this enhanced writing ability. Whatever it is, I feel they should combine the positive elements of Shogun with the songwriting of In Waves. This could prove well on their next studio adventure.
Do I actually like this album? Somewhat. Do I hate it? Far from. For me it’s mostly at this point the fact that Trivium has spent far too long growing and maturing. In Waves is hopefully the last album from Trivium where we need to listen to Heafy’s search for an independent musical identity. I sense he’s getting close, and when he finds that I will most likely renew my interest in Trivium. For now, In Waves sits as an album on my playlist, not actively searched out, but not passed over when arrived at via shuffle.