Review by Luke Helstrip
It’s that time again where I’m sent one of my personal favourite band’s new album to write about, oh the joys ey! This is Trivium’s fifth studio album release, released on RoadRunner Records and their first with new drummer Nick Augusto. They themselves said that this album was going to be similar to their early releases (Ember To Inferno and Ascendency) and with the band’s early releases of In Waves and Shattering The Skies Above, it seemed that this was the case and this album was set up to be brutal.
Well this is a partial truth, if anything. Yes, they have got heavy again with tracks like In Waves and Inception to the End, whilst keeping their evolving style of using clean vocals at choruses and other parts, which makes the songs more engaging, as you can work out what’s going on and sing along if you’re so inclined. There are moments, pretty much throughout the album, where there are particular section that show genuinely awesome musical talent from the guys. But these are somewhat short lived.
That’s about it for the good stuff about this album, sadly. Like I say, the early tracks are heavy and old school, but by no stretch of the imagination anything more than average. Every song has a point that lets it down, some more than others. For example my favourite track on the album, In Waves, stops near the end and kicks back in…. Cool idea guys… If you hadn’t done it on the last album for Kirsute Gomen. This recycling of previous ideas continues throughout the album. Chaos Reigns, for example, uses the exact same chord progression to the title track at parts, if this was supposed to be a smart use of the same thing, it hasn’t worked. It just makes them look seriously lazy. They don’t even stop at ripping their own songs off. The solo from Caustic Are The Ties That Bind is a copy and paste job from Bullet for My Valentine’s Hearts Burst into Fire.
As is traditional with Trivium albums, they do a Metal song for the ladies (not the sound sexist there; that’s how Matt introduces them live. E.g. Dying In Your Arms). On this album, we have Built To Fail, and if this is what ladies want to hear, then I think I’m going to stop conversing with any of them; it is utterly terrible. Boring and repetitive fails to adequately describe this song. You would be more entertained by listening to yourself hitting your head against a wall.
Then we get onto the worst thing of the album for me. On the second half of the album, the majority of the songs sound like they have come from a Nickelback album. Clean vocals put all over the place with slight growls occasionally, a prime example being Black.
No. Just… no.
So to sum up, then. I love the old stuff that Trivium produced. This album promised to deliver the same. It failed massively. For a band that claimed to be the new Metallica, I expect to hear 90% of their stuff and be amazed. It just doesn’t do that at any point during this album. They want to be compared to Metallica? Here we go: Metallica’s fifth studio release was Metallica (also known as The Black Album), arguably one of the greatest metal albums ever produced, and the one that really put them on the map. It catapulted them from playing theatre venues to headlining arena venues, whereas In Waves is your run of the mill commercial piddle. I genuinely wanted to love this album from start to finish. I wanted to be battered from start to finish, and with a new drummer and hearing the early releases, I thought it may happen. I’m not angry that it didn’t happen. Disappointed is a better description. I’m not keeping this album and probably won’t approach another Trivium album again. I’m going to listen to DevilDriver.
Album Rating – **