Sound — 9
Although on some songs the "Metallica" label with be hard to shift, the majority of the album can be classed as distinctively "Trivium". It seems with the new album "In Waves" and a debut for their new drummer Nick Augusto, that they have finally found their own sound. Their sound encompasses everything from the black metal influenced "Dust Dismantled" to the flamenco-esq acoustic passage of "Ensnare The Sun" available in the special edition. New song ideas that don't just stick to the simple verse-chorus-verse help produce a very solid album that will keep any metal fan interested right to the end of the special edition's 70 minutes of aural massacre. The relentless guitar and drum attack is brutal, all held together by some of Paulo Gegoletto's tightest and best bass lines. The guitar tones featured across the album are perfect and as documented in the bonus DVD, they even switched studios just to achieve this sound. The rhythm playing is a sonic force not to be underestimated, however Corey Beaulieu's lead playing does occasionally seem forced and soemtimes not needed at all.
Lyrics — 8
On "In Waves" Matt Heafy has replaced his James Hetfield voice with a mixture of death growls (most notably on "Dust Dismantled", "A Skyline's Severance" and "Chaos Reigns") and soft clean vocals (present on "In Waves", "Caustic Are The Ties That Binds" and "Of All These Yesterdays"), even though (inevitably) Hetfield does make appearances, it is only when needed and always to good effect. The singing highlight of the album comes on "Of All These Yesterdays", where Matt Heafy's voice and technique is simply breathtaking. In this song, and throughout the album, he demonstrates that his clean voice is good enough to rival that of Corey Taylor. The lyrics of this album are a little forced at times, e.g. in "Of All These Yesterdays" the lyrics "press it against my head and dream of the colour red" scream "I couldn't think of anything else to rhyme", however, most of the lyrics are well written and fit the mood of the song and the album wonderfully.
Overall Impression — 9
It seems Trivium focused a lot on the art, visuals and concepts behind the album to try and produced the most complete feeling album they've ever made. Every time I listen to the album I find myself in "In Waves land" depicted in the packaging and the music video (and also wanting Matt Heafy's Jacket), which tells me they've achieved their goal. In my opinion the best song on the album is "Dust Dismantled" because of its raw aggression and fantastic vocals and guitar work. Dispite all this, I feel the album lacks something, which holds it back from being an epic masterpiece. "Ascendancy" will probably still remain the ultimate Trivium album for most fans, but "In Waves" will definitely come close. Although, for me, "In Waves" is their only album which I've liked every song and this makes it worth every penny.