Sound — 10
This has to be my favorite AFI album. The sound is just absolutely gritty and heavy. Davey Havok's voice is edgy and hardcore. AFI is renowned for changing their style every album (with the exception of the first two, being songs compiled from their early years) and this is no exception. Mark Stopholese definitely changed his guitar style, too. The riffs are more complicated and very off-key. This also was recorded at a time when Nick 13 of Tiger Army was living with Davey, and Nick 13 collaborated with the band on a few songs, more notably "A Single Second." This album features now-current bass player Hunter Burgan of The Force. Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes is a must have for original hardcore fans.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are key in Davey's change from a little East Bay punk to a dark, gloomy, little East Bay goth-punk. They are a bit more aggressive than the two previous albums, but the same sense of self detachment is there. Davey, on this album, is apparently obsessed with the number three. Every three songs has some form of the number in the name. More talk of cults and Fall, this was the time when the logos had inverted pentagrams and the number 666 on them. You can never go wrong with a song called "The Devil Loves You."
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this is the best hardcore album I have ever heard. The influence of their good friends Sick Of It All is prevalent. Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes just kicks your ass from "Keeping Out Of Direct Sunlight" to "Triple Zero," or if you have the vinyl, their amazing cover of the classic Misfits song, "Last Caress."