Sound — 10
Imagine the sound of the alt rock/punk band Sparta crossed with the sound of the prog rock/experimental Mars Volta and you'd get something along the lines of At The Drive-In. Mostly because before starting thier respective bands, the two were in fact were the one. Relationship Of Command is the final effort of At The Drive-In before the group went their seperate ways, therefore it is the most polished and melodic of their albums. This is only compared to other ATDI work however, when stacked up to the normal standards of music, it is raw, loud, and full of energy. With the two overdriven guitars constantly churning out insane jarring riffs, and messed up insanely fast leads. Even the bass shines, carving its own path through the raging torrents of guitars, effects and distortion with bass lines that Flea would be proud of. Overall the chaos fits together quite well and makes for a mental angular sound that would be hard to replicate, and means that the streaks of calm in the album are all the more appreciated.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are a huge part of the album, Cedric Bixler as a lyricist/singer is quite talented and his mastery of the english language is amazing. Instead of singing about an everpresent "you" like just about every other songwriter in the world right now, he tells stories and creates vivid imagery with his words, using highly abstract metaphors and similes so the lyrics can be taken on different levels of understanding for different people. In the singing and shouting department he does well for himself as does the backup scream singer/guitarist Jim Ward, adding some much needed meat to Cedric's high notes, giving for some massively catchy, powerful chorus's that you'll find yourself singing weeks after you've heard them.
Overall Impression — 10
Don't let the poor grammar and lack of intelligence found in the last review fool you, this album is not just one that wannabe "punks" (I use the term loosely) listen to when they want to try and be profound and/or knowledgeable (both musically and lyrically). Yes that's right, the guitar work IS complicated and unique, and the lyrics are intelligent and complex. All in all, this is a great hard rocking album, although people who are not familiar with this kind of music may find it hard to get into at first, it will soon grow on anyone who hears it, being immensly catchy but harshly angular at the same time. It's a keeper for sure and if stolen or lost another should be bought before you even realise what just happened.