Trivium - In Waves
This album has been a long time in coming, and I'm not just talking about the three year gap since Trivium released Shogun. What we are treated to, for it certainly is a real pleasure, on In Waves is the sound of a band finally maturing and delivering the sort of record they promised way back when Ascendancy propelled them into the spotlight as a torch-bearer for modern heavy metal; a little akin to watching your little brother finally grow up as you mutter “I told you so” to the doubters. Trivium have been rather dogged by the (slightly harsh) accusation that they've sounded just a little too much like their heroes; with In Waves this should be well and truly put to bed as the boys forge a new path uniquely their own. As with any thrash record, the shadow of Metallica does hang over, and the chorus of 'Black' is reminiscent of the legends, but plagiarism this definitely is not.
The title track is a massive statement of intent to fire In Waves off to a cracking start: the guitars are crisp and sharp as they crash through riff after crushing riff, whilst Matt Heafy switches vocal styles between anthemic sing-along and gut-rumbling growls with effortless grace. New drummer Nick Augusto might not be wholly responsible for the refreshed and renewed Trivium, but he has slotted in seamlessly as the band now have a driving energy that comes across so infectiously in the music.
As we move on through the album, the variety of ideas is immensely pleasing. No two songs sound unsettling familiar or stale derivations of one another. From the monumentally dense 'Dusk Dismantled' to the ridiculously catchy 'Caustic Are The Ties That Bind' every track has its own identity. There are of course shared elements throughout that help hold In Waves together as a complete album, such as the huge choruses that you can hear being screamed live by whole audiences already, and the hook-laden yet still brutally heavy guitars that will snare even the most casual of listeners.
The acoustic-led ‘Of All These Yesterdays’ slides out of the punishing ‘Chaos Reigns’, probably the heaviest four minutes the band have ever conjured, sounding more like a band that have been at this for three decades. It is this sense of cohesion that is the single most satisfying aspect of In Waves, the natural way in which one tune flows into the next to create this one solid monster that will serve as a blueprint for the Trivium sound in the future. Yet most exciting of all, I can’t help but feel this is just the beginning of something very special – welcome to the new age.