Sound — 10
The sound is exactly what you'd expect from AC/DC: Pure, unadulterated rock 'n roll. That is what makes them such a popular band even to this day. Songs like "Rock 'N Roll Train", "War Machine", "Big Jack", and "Wheels" have that good old anthemic quality to them. In this album, though, AC/DC does slightly (very slightly) tinker with the formula. "Anything Goes", "Stormy May Day", and "Rock 'N Roll Dream" have a few different sounds to them, however, they all fit into the formula. I especially like the sound of "Rock 'N Roll Dream": It's slow and haunting, yet, it still is classic AC/DC, almost like the great Bon Scott track "Ride On". Other songs, like "Decibel", "She Likes Rock 'N Roll", and "Black Ice", are wonderfully bluesy and would not be out of place at a good old Kansas City blues club. I'll have some ribs with that, thank you very much.
Lyrics — 9
For the most part, the lyrics are what you'd expect from the Brian Johnson era: Generic, yet fun to sing along to. There are some notable exceptions, however: "Rock 'N Roll Dream" is probably the most notable one. Yes, the title is quite lame, however, the lyrics are actually quite memorable, especially when Jonna sings the word "round" and you hear it echo many times, it was one of the best parts of the album, it was quite enjoyable. "War Machine" and "Big Jack" are the two double entredre tracks. When I first heard about there being a song called "War Machine" in the album, I thought, "Oh God, AC/DC's gone political." Fortunately, that is not the case. What "War Machine" and who "Big Jack" is, well, listen to other AC/DC songs like "Fire Your Guns". The object in question is a... cannon, of sorts. The two songs' lyrics revolve around these double entredres quite well and are beneficial to the songs. "Black Ice" has great lyrics, almost reminiscent of "Problem Child" is their content, Brian Johnson sings things like "I'm gonna rip it out", "gouge out your eyes", and "When the devil come a callin', I ain't gonna be around." Great stuff. The only problem is that Jonna's voice is still not pre-Blow Up Your Video levels. Of course, I doubt that they'll ever reach that point again, but still, it is of note. His voice has greatly improved though from where it was in Stiff Upper Lip, he does have a little more "umph" to it.
Overall Impression — 9
This is AC/DC's best album since "Flick of the Switch" (Which I honestly believe is an extremely underrated album that you must listen to.) However, it is no "Back in Black". Of course, I didn't really expect another "Back in Black". BiB is AC/DC's masterpiece, it's impossible to top, especially at this point in their careers. That being said, "Black Ice" is an excellent album. It easily surpasses the crap that is being played on the radio these days. Buy it, it is a must for any AC/DC fan, in fact, it's a must for anyone that likes rock music, or even just music. Best songs: "Rock 'N Roll Train", "War Machine", "Rock 'N Roll Dream", and "Black Ice".