the problem i had with waves is how samey it sounded to me, not only throughout the course of the album but in relation to other bands in the scene, and yes, i think the thrice comparison is about as apt as it gets. which you may personally think isnt a fair comparison. but i also disliked the screaming parts as well, and this album goes for a much softer, laid back sound that makes the bigger parts, like the end of "seasonal," hit with that much more impact. i also think the songwriting, in terms of melodies and harmonies and also song structures, are more interesting than they were on waves. there's a lot more nuance here. its also shorter and more to the point, i think waves is a bit long and i got bored with it pretty quickly into the album.
like i said, you dont have to agree, but just knowing where im coming from could maybe help you understand a different viewpoint. in any case, discussion is always healthy.
This is a sound view of the album but just don't look down on those of us (such as myself) who don't care for their new stuff. The lack of screaming is definitely a minus in my book (not that everything I listen to is aggressive) but regardless what is going on here isn't engaging enough to match MM's prior efforts. Seems like music to be listened to while slightly high or just to have playing in the background - which isn't what I wanted from MM.