Review Summary: In Waves shows a Trivium that have neither progressed sonically, nor regressed conceptually, no, instead In Waves is Trivium stuck in a storm -- literally it would seem.
Matt Heafy finally learning to use his pipes properly, the discovery of complementing modest guitar solos, and the possibility of new founded dynamics – it all couldn’t have come at a worse period in time for Trivium. For the countless press releases and teaser samples that have heralded possibly one of this year’s most synthetic hype-trains, these so called impressions of inspiration from both Ascendancy
are contrived to say the least, nor do they show any discernable deviation from what they’d probably call influence. It’s ironic, but clear that whilst attempting to sound diverse, new and engaging, they’ve ended up sounding replicated from a mould they and their counterparts have trended towards for the past couple of years. This is all made of disappointment because (despite the somewhat unconvincing lyricism) the album’s opener (“In Waves”) is probably one of their best-ever creations. It’s melodically brilliant, vocally sound, and above all, dynamic, something which they’ve struggled to thrive under. But before you turn this into a Frisbee, consider that at least it is far better than what they conjured during The Crusade
, and that has to be only a good thing.
With a sound perhaps friendlier to the ear, but certainly still coarse enough for a hardened fan to relish, In Waves
relies on a well distributed cluster of good material, subtended by a preponderance of forgettable riffs, and questionable lyrics. Brief flashes of enjoyment do exist. You don’t have to hunt in between the notes either. Songs like “Inception of the End” and “Watch the World Burn” do appear to suggest they’ve been watching too many Christopher Nolan films, but are fairly agreeable affairs in the own right with Heafy commanding his frontman skills. “Caustic Are the Ties that Bind” is a clear winner with a contrasting middle section, similar in tone to the title track. Likewise “Of All These Yesterdays” does away with the lengthy conclusive-instrumental, instead opting for the aforementioned trends. As their interpretation of System of a Down
’s “Holy Mountains” crossed with something Metallica
made during the 90s, it closes the album better than their previous attempts. But throughout there’s a sad reality; In Waves
is as fleeting as The Crusade
was, just with a good deal more affability. The elements they introduce aren’t as affixed to one another as well as they could have been, putting the album somewhere in between Shogun
in terms of longevity, and somewhere amid the derivative creations they and Shadows Fall
have already churned a million times before.