Sound — 5
Trivium has always been a hard band to pin point given the fact that you never know what they're going to deliver. Every album thus far is different from it's predecessor. This has been a double edged blade very since their critically acclaimed release "The Crusade" which gave them the stigma of being Metallica copycats, and then again with "Shogun" which resulted in them being called show-offs. In Waves represents progression by looking back, quotes the band. How far back however is the question. "Shogun" promised us more "Ascendancy" like songs and it failed to deliver on that specific level. We got the same promise for "In Waves", and quite frank this album makes me doubt they even remotely remember how "Ascendancy" sounded. The songs are dull, repetitive and overall a very uncomfortable experience. Here and there some instrumental tracks were thrown in making it a more artsy kind of album. Few songs actually work for me. From the overly repeated motif of the intro track ("In Waves" main riff with a NIN feel due to over compressed piano) to the "master piece" "Of All These Yesterdays" which isn't nearly as great as they gave it credit for. There's nothing wrong with the sound of the record or the production but the lack of solo's, original riffs and out of the box drumming makes it a very boring record.
Lyrics — 6
The Lyrics are a bit dull as well. There are some nice hooks here and there but most of it is same old same old. I actually preferred Matt's Lyrics from when he was about 18, "Dying In Your Arms" and "This World Can't Tear Us Apart" aside of course. They are functional nonetheless. And though I think vocals make or break and album, as long as they're functional they score neutral. Matt's clean vocals have improved yet again, so that's a plus. They tend to get annoying on some occasions though. "Ensnare The Sun" is a good example. The screams have stayed the same more or less. The few vocals that Corey delivers are unfortunately laughable at most.
Overall Impression — 5
I started this review trying to be as positive as I could be. Halfway through I realized I don't need to be lenient just because this used to be one of my favorite bands. This album fails to deliver on more than one front. The only songs I enjoyed listening to were: "Inception Of The End", "Caustic Are The Ties That Bind", "Built To Fall" and "A Skyline's Severance". Songs like "Dusk Dismantled" and the painfully awkward "Drowning In Slow Motion" are a good enough reason of never playing this album as a whole. I sure am glad I kept the receipt, because this album doesn't deserve to be in my record collection.