Sound — 10
The sound is very good, they recorded in the studio with the guitarist from Mudvayne and the music itself has evolved quite a lot since their earlier albums; "Sounding The Seventh Trumpet" and "Waking The Fallen." The CD is filled with meaningful lyrics that complement M. Shadow's voice after he had his throat surgery. Their first albums were strictly hardcore, but after Shadows had surgery on his throat after a blood vessel was bruising his vocal chord, they have mellowed out with singing and guitar harmonys through synyster gates and zacky vengeance. Synyster Gates may also be the most advanced guitar player of this century, with "gut-busting" solos and harmony's together with Zacky, his musical background and musical college attendance really shines through. Ending songs in Flamenco style guitar and starting with old western acoustic pieces, the sound could not be better.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics I cannot describe entirely, as they differ from song to song. They are all written by Avenged sevenfold and all have meanings to them. A song that perticularly strikes out to me is the song "MIA" also known as Missing In Action. This song refers to the war and has a very strong opinion on it. With lyrics such as "Some are scared, others killing for fun. I shot a mother right in front of her son. Take this from my conciousness and please erase my dreams" M. Shadow's vocal skill really shines through with this album. Although he might sound nasally at some points of the new songs, he is still the perfect frontman for their new music style.
Overall Impression — 10
The most impressive song on the album is a very hard choice seing as I like them all. The most lyric driven would be "MIA." To complement The guitarists the song would have to be "Beast and the harlott" and "Sidewinder" while complementing the drummer and bassist (the reverend and johny christ) would have to be "The Wicked End." I love the guitar solos and harmony's in this album, both players have really evolved and their practise shows with technical shred and harmony's good enough for my father to listen to although he hates rock music. M. Shadow's new voice is a hate it or love it situation, where I personally love it. With his new singing voice came more evolved lyrics that really get through to you.