This year, we got the closest to having a heavy metal meme. When In Waves came out, people had some choice words to say about its title track. “EGG WHIIIIIIIIIIITES,” they wrote in the comments section on Trivium’s YouTube videos. How do you fight off zombies in Call of Duty? IN WAAAAAAVES! Who made your favorite metal record this year? IN FLAAAAAAAAMES! IN WIIIIIVES, EAT RIIIIIIIIIICE, and my personal favorite: Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep, HE WAAAAAAAAAAAAITS! Most of them hilarious criticisms that could have forced In Waves into self-parody.
But all the humor fails to distract from the fact that “In Waves” and its intro, “Capsizing the Sea,” is one of the best metal songs of the year and one of the best metal record openers of all time. It’s literally a sobering response to all those who doubted that Trivium could write another Shogun. “What if that album was a fluke?” “IN WAAAAAAAAAVES!” “Oh well never mind. I’ll shut the fuck up.” And then the rest of the album continues to pummel you for even considering Trivium aren’t one of the best American metal bands of our generation. From the steely poppiness of “Black” and “Watch the World Burn” to the grit of “A Skyline’s Severance” and “Chaos Reigns,” the band provides wallop after wallop of kickass metallic synergy with few interruptions. Haters gonna hate, but I keep going back to In Waves. The Metallica comparisons are incredibly silly at this point.