Sunday, August 14, 2011
Trivium - In Waves (2011)
Country: Orlando, Florida
Style: Melodic Death Metal/Metalcore
I'm sure by now I don't have to introduce Trivium, you'll either love them or hate them. Believe it or not, they are, and have been, a guilty pleasure for me for quite some time and do come back to their records now and again. I've enjoyed their past work but from what I've heard from this record, before hearing the whole thing, did not impress me.
Before this album was released, a little less than half of this album was released to the public through individual songs, and I have to tell you that what I heard caused me a bit of concern. Trivium was a band that, while songwriting and stylistically people have their individual opinions, you had to admit had two great guitar players, and in the songs that were released, you had a band really simplifying their style. Now, don't get me wrong, simplicity and heightening songwriting is something I'm all in for, but I feel that a band shouldn't have to dumb down their style in order to write good songs or reach a larger audience. I feel that the title-track, In Waves, is a good example of the band actually succeeding with this formula, though I originally detested the song, it grew on me, it has the right elements that Trivium has always given me, big melodic choruses, a nice riff, and an overall memorable song, but the rest of the album is not nearly as consistent. There are just too many songs that feel unnatural and strained, Forsake Not The Dream for example, and wound up being cringe worthy despite good guitarwork. Or at least that's how I felt after my first listen anyway.
Matt Heafy, guitarist and lead vocalist, has been saying in interviews that this album is like an entire film from start to finish, by comparison, saying that previous efforts have been like the soundtrack to a film. If this is a film, I honestly have to say that I don't get it, sure, individual songs are decent, but I'm not really following any storyline here, if there is one. The songs on here also provide little to actually bring common themes together, I'm not sure how what could be seen as a melodic death metal song, at best, like Dusk Dismantled has much in common with more radio-metal songs like Watch The World Burn or Built to Fall. I'm also not partial towards how clean and polished this record sounds, I know previous records have all been clean, but this sounds overproduced to me, very radio friendly sounding and not my cup of tea. Having said that, I still commend the band for each of their respective performances and I do believe that this is Heafy's strongest vocal performance yet. Also, while I disliked this album after a first listen, this album just grew on me exponentially. If I had it my way, this is the type of stuff that would be played on the radio as pop music, so in other words, this is pop music for me.
When all was said and done, this record just blew me away with how catchy it turned out to be. I was certainly not expecting something this mainstream, but I'm certainly not opposed to it when a record is this catchy. Check it out if you want to hear what I'd call heavy pop music, but I'm sure a lot of people will probably still hate it.
Overall Score: 8
Highlights: In Waves, Caustic Are The Ties That Bind, Of All These Yesterdays