I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if Metallica ever decide to retire, Floridian metallers Trivium are the obvious choice to inherit the throne. They have the old-school thrash style down and vocalist Matt Heafy has a growl almost identical to James Hetfield at times.One listen through their latest, In Waves,  and it’ll be mighty hard to dispute my claim.

Personally, I am not a fan of any album hanging around the stereo for more than 12 tracks. If you’re going over that, you’re a little too self indulgent or just don’t know when to say “no” in the studio and dangerously tread into b-side territory.

In Waves is an album that’s a definite exception to that rule. With 13 tracks (18 if you get the deluxe), Trivium make every second of In Waves count. In this case, I’d actually recommend the deluxe version that has a slightly tweaked track order and culminates  with “Shattering The Skies Above”, their contribution to God Of War: Blood & Metal, paired with a brutal cover of Sepultura’s “Slave New World”.

“Capsizing The Sea” serves as the calm before the storm. The maelstrom, of course, being “In Waves” with it’s opening, gut-wrenching declaration by vocalist/guitarist Matt Heafy.

Sonically, the album is a success throughout. Songs like “Watch The World Burn” and “Black” excel in the art of mechanical razor sharp riffing thanks to Heafy and guitarist Cory Beaulieu. Elsewhere on In Waves, “Built To Fall”, “Forsake Not The Dream” and “Of All These Yesterdays” all tread completely different territory for the band yet retain a hard edge.

“Chaos Reigns” is the one that you need to have the Band-Aid’s ready for. Not for your bleeding ears (Although you should keep some on hand for that anyway…) but for Matt Heafy whose screams on this one evoke someone who is in a great amount of pain. If I had any awards to hand out at the end of the year, this one would definitely be in the running for “Best metal vocal performance of the year” .

On their fifth album, Trivium have truly mastered the art of writing catchy metal songs that will stay with you long after not just because of the memorable hooks but also for the punishing riffs.

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