Trivium “In Waves” Album + DVD Deluxe Version Review2 By Jason Matthew
Trivium is a band that has seemed to divide the metal community since their inception. Metal purists have many times in the past mocked their more radio-friendly efforts, and singer Matt Heafy’s undeniably Hetfield-inspired vocals. I’ve been an on and off fan; while I absolutely loved the majority of their debut Ember To Inferno and their major label debut, Ascendancy, I was extremely turned off by The Crusade‘s overly rock-anthemish, trying-way-too-hard to be Metallica vibe. After that came Shogun, an album in which they tried to redeem themselves for The Crusade, bringing back the screaming that was absent on the previous album, while adding heavier riffs and drumming. That was a great turnaround from the blandness of The Crusade, but they went a little too far in the opposite, darker direction- I found myself missing the melody that was prevalent on Ascendancy. Now in 2011, Trivium claims to have “found their sound” and struck a balance, bringing the best of both worlds to the table.
I have to agree. This is their best album since Ascendancy.
“Capsizing The Sea” starts off the album, with a distorted piano followed by some drumming and riffing, building into a cool battle march theme. I immediately recognized the piano melody from “In Waves“, the single that was being used to promote the album, which is the next track. I bought the album based on hearing this track alone; its staccato Fear Factory-esque riffing and drumming behind alternating screams and melodic singing is undeniably catchy. It also features some blistering solos- Trivium has always had a knack for striking the perfect balance between shredding and melody in guitar solos. Far from being showy afterthoughts, their solos are almost always memorable and hum-able.
“Inception of the End” is less Fear Factory and more standard Trivium. It has some fast riffing and hard hitting drums throughout, with a nicely harmonized chorus. It also has a strange-at-first vocal melody over blast beats near the end, but it kinda works. “Dusk Dismantled” is next, and is mostly forgettable, with some Black metal-ish low spoken vocals peppered throughout that don’t mesh with the band’s style, but it does have a scorching solo.
“Watch the World Burn” sounds a bit like a Crusades B-side, with that rock-anthem vibe. It feels even more out of place being played right after the previous, Black Metal-esque track. “Black” fares better, sounding more like a track off of Shogun.
“Built To Fall” is one of the standout tracks in my eyes. It is clean vocals-heavy, and that will turn off some, but I think it has some very solid riffing and the cleans are done tastefully- it isn’t overbearing like on “Watch The World Burn”.
“Caustic Are The Ties That Bind” is another standard Trivium offering, but a great one. It balances the heaviness and melody well, with a very catchy Bullet For My Valentine-esque midsection. “A Grey So Dark” is another very radio-friendly track, but quite possibly my favorite track on the album. The chorus and accompanying riffage is undeniably catchy, and Heafy does a great job with the vocals here.
The extended version with the DVD has a cover of Sepultura’s “Slave New World“, and it’s definitely still a kick ass track.
It should be noted that the DVD included in the extended edition is not just a throwaway disk, but rather has an 8 song, very well mixed “Live In the Studio” session. Very cool idea. It also has a pretty long documentary of the recording of every instrument, which is especially interesting for audiophiles like myself.
If you’ve ever been a fan of Trivium, I highly recommend you pick this album up.