Trivium’s latest release comes just as one thing becomes very apparent in mainstream metal: the genre is flatlining. In a part of the metal genre where most songs sound like choices from a choose-your-own-adventure book, I hope that the highly anticipated “In Waves” would bring to rest the notion that there are no more storylines to follow and the end is near. One listen to this album shows hints of life, but those hints…..are just that.
In the hopes that multiple listen’s will reveal some inner genius, I took a few extra car rides to hear the album again. In track two, titled “In Waves”, we hear the first words of the album….”In Wives”. Yes, the word waves……not pronounced as “waves”. Small potatoes? Maybe, but I did not get a good feeling given the sound I just heard. Let’s take a closer look at the lyrics, song titles, etc, side of the album and really break down what is going on. First up: song titles. The album “In Waves” follows along in the oh-so annoying trend of coming up with song titles that sounds so deep and thought provoking, but dont really say anything except “My other band is emo.” Song titles such as “Inception of the End” and “Dusk Dismantled” sound cool in theory, but in reality, belong with metal’s annoying, less badass brother, screamo. In addition, the lyrics……aren’t any less dim-witted. Take this chorus from “Watch the World Burn”:
“Watch the world burn It sets the air on fire! Watch the world burn, We are the arson!”
Gets ya riled up to hear it, but to read it……makes one wonder just what on earth is being said here. If “we” are the arson, what are we setting on fire? Why are we doing it? While music carries a message, overcomplication of a message through faux-deep similes and metaphors is just a tragically bad stab at sounding profound. SO, on a lyrical and message side, this album disappoints.
Musically, this album is just as confused. The album jumps back and forth between trying to sound radio friendly and trying to sound heavy and punishing. In trying to straddle both sides of the fence, the album fails to stake its territory on either side and leaves the listener confused. Unfortunately, this combined with an overly procduced sound leaves the album sounding thing and flat as opposed to mosntrous and head bangin’. The album lacks guts, except for in a few remote areas, but even then, the music is hackneyed with super fast double bass drum pedal work and the same, oh so constantly uninspired chugging of the guitar. Nothing groundbreaking hapens here.
This album is a must for die hard Trivium fans, but only if they wish to complete the discography. New listeners would be wise to look elsewhere for something with meaning and some sonic awesomeness. Do not let the song titles cnfuse you here, there is nothing deep about the lyrics here. Lyircally, it is the same deep soundfing, but really empty of any meaning or sense, type of lyrics that closely resemble bad emo. I tried to like it, and I just could not. All around, a flat disappintment of what was a highly anticipated album.