Sound — 10
A7X has definetaly cooled off a bit, some of their older stuff is very slayer inspired, while this album is more original. I didn't used to listen 2 these guys, but I heard a couple good reviews and thought I'd pick this 1 up. Excellent guitar solos! I think these guys started a whole new genre "punk-metal": not as 2 separet genres, but as 1. Two things I should say before you read on though: they are not a religious band, for all you retards; these guys are straight outta orange county (not the OC), so whoever sed that west-coast people cant rock, well u were wrong-bigtime.
Lyrics — 9
M. Shadows does some crazy vocal techniuqe, but who cares about frontmen. From a bassists perspective, most singers are glory-hogs, but not this guy. Z. Vengance and S. Gates are like Page, Hendrix, Clapton, Perry, Van Halen, and Slash all in 1 (or 2). Back to the lyrics. There's definetely a strong theme of Betrayal (such as the song dedicated 2 Dimebag), but also a mild case of just wanting to go do whatever, in a pissed-off way.
Overall Impression — 10
I'd like to compare these guys to system of a down and korn. Sidewinder is an impressive mix of classical guitar and distorted guitar. My one complaint is that there are only 11 tracks on it, but they're long so who cares. I absolutely love this album, get it.