Trivium's fifth album In Waves is their first album with new drummer Nick Augusto, and their first to be produced by Colin Richardson. Nick's style of drumming fits the band well so there is no need to worry about Travis's absence. Additionally, the general standard of production is brilliant and even the quality of the lyrics has improved.
At first, I was a little worried that the album mightn't be all that good, as I wasn't too keen on the pre-released tracks like the more radio friendly `In Waves,' and `Built To Fall,' or the heavier, more mid-album type tracks `Dusk Dismantled,' and `Inception Of The End,' all of which were objectively good songs but all seemed to be missing something.
That many tracks should be indicative of the album's quality as a whole, so I didn't get my hopes up. They did all grow on me however, and definitely make even more sense within the context of the album as a whole, so if you weren't keen on those tracks either, don't let it put you off listening to the whole album.
As a general rule, the songs are shorter than they were on the previous album Shogun, and a little more straight-forward in terms of composition and structure but this is not necessarily true of every single track. The best way to describe In Waves would be a mixture of radio friendly songs and Ascendancy type songs; when you get right down to it, its another regular Trivium album. No grand departure really.
Every Trivium album so far has had some alteration to the style of the vocals, some harder, some softer and some mixed. In Waves could be described as more mixed, but with some additional styles not heard on a Trivium album before too.
Overall; when you get past the vocal styles, the track lengths, the line up, the production and the albums historical context, at the end of the day the album will stand or fall on whether or not the songs are any good. In Waves has a lot of good songs on it, and for that reason alone you should pick up a copy.
So to summarize, In Waves is a well written and well produced album, perhaps not the single best release in the band's career by leagues and leagues, but ultimately a strong release that long time Trivium fans should definitely add to their collection.
*** If you should get the special edition version; you will find the bonus tracks `Slave New World,' which is a cover of the Sepultura classic, and `Shattering The Skies Above,' which previously featured on the Blood & Metal EP that was released to promote God Of War 3, as well as two bonus tracks `Ensnare The Sun,' and `Drowning In Slow Motion,' added into the actual running order of the album. This set comes with the discs housed in a double-digipak.
In addition to the bonus tracks, there is a DVD featuring the music video for `In Waves,' as well as a `Making Of,' documentary which is fairly substantial at 41 minutes and much more serious in tone than `The Making Of Shogun.' Furthermore there is an astounding quality live concert filmed in the band's practice area at Chapman Studios, in a similar style to Nine Inch Nail's The Slip. The track listing is:
`Built To Fall,'
`Watch The World Burn,'
`Down From The Sky,'
`Ember To Inferno.'
The visuals, audio and editing of the live concert are absolutely superb and I highly recommend you buy this version.