In Flames and Trivium both recently announced they will be entering the studio to record new material in the next few days/months. In Flames is now at a loss of longtime member Jesper Stromblad (due to recovery from alcoholism) and Trivium has a new drummer, while retaining the other members.
A pair the two bands in this post, because it seems both are faced with creating career defining albums (or at least damn good ones) to remain relevant in today's metal scene.
I've enjoyed the material In Flames has put out as of late (even though I know many old school In Flames fans have not) and look forward to seeing what the guys will come up with next. However, Jesper was kind of the one strand of validity left in the band among old school fans. The band is going to have to pull out the "big guns," to get the longtime fans to take notice. Then again, the newer fans might not even know Jesper is gone...
Then we have Trivium who has persevered despite being seen as a trendy metal band by many fans. Sure they released an album with heavy Metallica influence and Matt Heafy looks kind of like a hipster, but the man has chops and the last album had some memorable, heavy tracks (apparently the new drummer does the occasional blast beat and is much heavier in sound also, but we will see).
I feel like 2011 is the time for Trivium to release an album that will put the haters to rest, otherwise, the band doesn't have much room to expand its fanbase.