Three years in the making, Trivium's fifth album, In Waves, is the musical homecoming that the metal band's fans have been waiting for. After the stylistic stretches of The Crusade (2006) and Shogun (2008), the Orlando, Fla., group returns to the more straightforward melodic thrash of 2005's career-establishing Ascendency, albeit with a precision and aggression that are more refined and pronounced this time around. Sharpened by Shogun's intricate mathematics, guitarists Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu are in harmonic lock step, driving Trivium through such crushing tracks as "Inception of the End," "Dusk Dismantled" and "A Skyline's Severance," as well as the tricky changes of "Caustic Are the Ties That Bind." Songs "Watch the World Burn" and "Black" are mainstream-friendly metal complete with vocal harmonies, while "Of All These Yesterdays" traipses close to power ballad territory. Trivium is back in its comfort zone on In Waves, but it clearly benefited from spending time outside it, too.