Sound — 9
A Life Once Lost has a triumphant return with their new album "Iron Gag". This time, instead of experimenting with polyrhythms and time signatures, ALOL uses speed as the driving force. Now, ALOL doesn't completely drop their use of odd time signatures and polyrhythms, but the do tone it down a bit. I was quite exited when I first heard the album, because it sinks it's teeth into you right from the start. There are lots of catchy guitar passages and intros on this here, and the drums are incendiary. Thrown together with ALOL's already tight psychedelic style, this album straight up rocks.
Lyrics — 8
Bob Meadow's vocals have evolved a lot since 2005's Hunter. He has a more control over his growl and has developed better timing skills and patterns than he had before. A lot of this is due to Randy Blythe coming in to help produce vocals. You can tell Bob picked up a few things on the song Firewater Joyride. He has much more vocal diversity than his original bark and it seems that he has more stamina. The lyrics on this album are great, because not only do they tell of the inner struggle in a bitter man's mind, but they bring good old fashioned hate back to metal. A good portion of these songs sounds like the bottled up rage of an adolescent geek just being spilled out with violent results. They fit perfect with the high tempo weird timing of Snake Sustaine and Bobby Carpenter's dueling guitar melodies. I find that Bob did a fine job pushing himself to a new level on this record.
Overall Impression — 9
I think Iron Gag has really pushed A Life Once Lost to new levels, incorporating more hooks, melodcism, and downright brutality to their already strong songwriting skill. My personal favorite tracks on the album are "Detest" (featuring a guitar solo by Deven Townsend), "All Teeth", "Masks" and "Others Die". They incorporate lots of magnificent riffs as well as interestingly intellectual lyrics. The only downside to this album is the singer smothering the music and not allowing the song to breath with his constant screams. If this were to be stolen I would probably pick up another copy. So pick this record up at your local music store today!