Sound: The album opens up with a peaceful classical acoustic piece, which upon completion, fades out and transitions into the mind boggling breakdown known as Pi. While guitarists might not think much of the repetitive chugging of open strings, drummers will be able to appreciate the intricacy of the drumming, which is centered around the mathematical constant Pi. Google this, it's interesting. Drum beats like this are found all over the album.
The band's sound itself is the result of the amalgation of various genres. There's definitely a deathcore root in it, but there's also touches of progressive metal and traces of... uh... whatever Meshuggah plays. Metal elitists be warned: There are lots of breakdowns on this CD. But there are also plenty of sick riffs and sweet solos.
The thing I like about this band is that they can sound completely menacing and crushing one moment and uplifting and spirited the next. These guitarists definitely know what they're doing. Production-wise the album could be much better, but I'll cut the guys some slack since it's their first record. // 8
Lyrics: Lyrics... Can't say I understand the singing. But that's typical for most bands in heavy music genres. But after seeing the lyrics sheet and reading them through, I don't know what to say. Some of the lyrics are actually pretty nice, but others just sound like they're trying to overcomplicate a simple idea just for the sake of making it fit the music. At some points it sounds like a high school teenager's failed attempt at being deep. At some points the lyrics really are deep. Sometimes the lyrics are actually depressing, other times they're just too plain "emo". However, I guess that the lyrics and vocals really do fit the music, like in the song Fingers like Daggers.
The vocal styles consist mainly of death growls, screams, and hardcore shouts. It's ok for the most part, but the higher pitched screams aren't really that good. Death growls are pretty good, though. At one point in the album, clean vocals are used during a chorus. They're alright. // 7
Overall Impression: While this album does have its flaws, it is certainly a diamond in the rough. It certainly has an edge over most of the other albums I have from 2006. Tracks that you have to check out are The Forfeit, Fingers Like Daggers, Redeeming the Wretched, and A Steady Decline. Possibly even the title track. Maybe the album could have been better if they had a better vocalist and a few less breakdowns, perhaps. But the catchy melodies and intense riffs more than make up for it. // 9