Videoclip of the Month!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Trivium - In Waves

Trivium - In Waves


In Waves is Trivium’s fifth studio album which was released in 2011. Trivium is one of those bands that come once in a life time, there aren’t many bands out there who reached the same popularity as what these guys have done and there is a reason for this. First of all, not many bands out there are willing to combine thrash metal and metalcore together in a single sound and there are even less bands that do this well. Secondly they are only of the few bands that provoke emotion without having to resort to progressiveness or depression, somehow it comes naturally to them. And finally its one of the very few bands that’s accessible to almost any metal, hardcore or alternative rock fan anywhere on the globe. The chances are that people who listen to hardcore or metalcore primarily must have gone through Trivium at some point. It’s usually a gateway between metal/hardcore and rock. The thing that makes In Waves so great is that I think that out of all the albums Trivium has put out, In Waves would be the most accessible of them all.

My first impression of this album is that Trivium is getting closer and closer to metalcore rather than hardcore or thrash metal due to the breakdown in the track In Waves. Trivium aren’t well known for their break downs but to be honest, this breakdown isn’t the heaviest, fastest or even well structured but somehow it gets the head bobbing. Also I am obliged to point out that this album is not hugely packed up to the roof with breakdown. That could be any hardcore Trivium fan’s worst nightmare, so basically the opening breakdown in In Waves does not signify Trivium’s intentions to load the album with breakdowns. That being said, there are more breakdowns here than in any other Trivium albums (maybe because the previous have albums have little to none). They are all moderately heavy.

Many fans out there are probably thinking “Breakdown?!?!? really Trivium? really…?” well fans, don’t worry because I also think that their thrash influences are just as great as their previous albums. The guitar riffs are still exactly the same as what we saw in Shogun and in that sense, yeah there might just be a tad of difference here and there but you can still hear that trademarked Trivium guitar tone in here. I think the breakdowns sound weird with this type of guitar tone, it’s not bad it’s just that it’s hard to get used to because we barely hear them in previous albums. Now I’m not sure what the “hardcore” fans will say about this though because it’s not really part of Trivium’s sound, they might use the argument that Trivium is drifing closer and closer to mediocre metalcore and that they will not return to their previous greatness. But then again, you have to expect breakdowns within any metalcore or metalcore influenced album. The bottom line is that there are breakdowns in this album and if you are an anti-breakdown elitist, don’t pick up this album and if you don’t care either way, you will enjoy In Waves.

Trivium has not always been known for their hardcore sound but in particular tracks in In Waves, but the hardcore influence is highlighted more than ever. The vocals and the chords which are played this time round have a certain attitude that is normally associated with NYC hardcore band. It has the rawness to it as well giving it more of New York feel to their music. I’m not sure if this was present in their previous album (if it was I didn’t pick up on it) but I think I just adds an extra spin to their music. But the only problem is that I don’t think Trivum really needed this extra hardcore spin to their music, mainly because its not really what all of Trivium’s fans came to love. That being said, Trivium is one of the only bands that show progression throughout their albums and if breakdowns can be accepted in their new sound, I think hardcore can as well.

But like many albums that have come out in 2011, there is a downside to In Waves. Now I’m not trying to take away from their musician ship of each member of the band because I know for a fact that they are all excellent musicians who are renowned all over the world. But as many of you already know they have had a recent line up change and have a different drummer. I’m not sure about this new drummer though because Matt Heafy specifically said that he was going to take Trivium’s drumming to the next level. I don’t even think that the new drummer even compares with the old one. I remember the style of drumming that was featured in songs like Ascendancy and I was wondering if I were to hear them again in In Waves. I don’t really think he lives up to the hype when it comes to taking something to the next level, he doesn’t really keep up with the pace. On the plus side though, I did feel that he made better transitions in the songs. The sadest thing is that I know that he can drum faster, it just seems like he doesn’t feel like it at times, or maybe it’s just that Trivium might just be looking for their new sound. Either way, drumming has changed the way that Trivum has approached writing their music.

In comparison with Triviums previous albums, In Waves is neither a great success nor a blunder. I think that every Trivium fan all over the world would agree that Ascendancy was their crowning achievement. It was fast, technical and overall it was beautiful. In Waves doesn’t exactly live up to the fast and technical of the previous Ascendancy but it is quite beautiful, dare I say it was even more beautiful than Ascendancy. There is just something about the riffs that work in the opening track In Waves that give the music a certain euphoric feeling (even though this occurs throughout the album, In Waves is the most powerful) and when it combines with some clean vocals, it can be pretty relaxing to listen to. So In Waves isn’t really the worst Trivium has put out, In fact it reminds me a lot of their last album Shogun. The only difference really, is the drumming but other than that, the attitude and tone of the music is practically the same.  So to order Trivium’s albums in preference with the first one being the worst: The Crusade (one of the worst albums ever written, although the cover looks cool), From Ember to Inferno, Shogun, In Waves and Ascendancy.

Not only is In Waves probably the most beautiful album out of everything Trivium have produced, but its so easy to see (hear) that they have put in an effort to make this album as interesting as possible without over cluttering the music. The edition of thorough breakdowns and a new drumming style is only the tip of the ice berg. Like many other bands who want to make interesting music they have throw in many other things to make the music interesting such as improved guitar solos, raspier vocals and more attitude. They have even gone to the trouble of even adding an acoustic passage in this album. This is also one of the largest albums that they have ever created (18 tracks including the bonus tracks) which gives them room for many different sounds to include in their music. Some of the notable ones are very strong punk and grudge elements. There are times where I keep thinking that I’m listening to an awkward version of Nickelback sometimes. I think this just increases the replay value of this album a lot more.

There is much more beauty in this album than their previous recordings and with beauty comes emotion. Emotion has become a prime ingredient in In Waves and there is so much here. This album might not be Trivium’s technical masterpiece but it is one beautiful piece of work. Its just something about the guitar work that makes In Waves so emotional. Even though the guitar work and vocals make up the bulk of the emotion featured in this album, I think that the punk rock and alternative rock elements extend this feeling. I don’t normally associate metal/hardcore bands from anything from the rock area, but I think the punk styles here are closely related to the likes of Yellowcard and Jimmy Eats World. Not only is this a nice addition to their music but I think that this would be something I’d follow if I was in a band making new music.

Overall this is one of the best albums that Trivium has put out and I guess it’s a little hard to compare In Waves with their crowning album Ascendancy because despite their similarities, they both have their pros and cons, it’s impossible to weight it up. But I can say that Trivium’s new direction looks (sounds) very promising and the best part is that you can still clearly hear the old roots of their music. This is essentially what makes this album so good Trivium one of the best bands to ever hit the scene and its that they keep moving forward. Each album since Ember to Inferno has been showing signs of progression and trial and error. Yeah, sure, The Crusade might have been one of the worst albums ever made but they tried, failed, and moved onto something else and isn’t that what  good band is supposed to do? I recommend this to any Trivium or metalcore and thrash metal fans out there. I recommend the tracks In Waves (for metalcore fans), Forsake Not The Dream (for punk and rock fans), A Skyline's Severance (for people who want something harder and faster) and Caustic Are The Ties That Bind (for people who are seeking emotion). In Waves is a great album which definitely shows that hardcore juggernaut Trivium is still one of the best bands out there and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. I give In Waves a 17/20. 

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