Sound — 9
The level of sound on this album is a great improvement from the previous two. The quality is better, the riffs are better and overall it's just the best out of all of them. The only problem with the sound is at times M. Shadow's vocals get a bit nasally, but if you can get used to that then the sound is perfect. Some may complain though. There is no longer any screaming, but to make up for it, Synyster Gates' guitarwork has become better than ever, and in my opinion, better than nearly any other guitarist. There is also an appearence by Synyster Gats' father, Brian Haner Sr, on the song "Sidewinder". Overall, takes some getting used to, bu well worth it.
Lyrics — 9
Most of their lyrics follow some sort of story and have a lot of meaning to them. This album takes it to a whole new level with deeper descriptions and thicker story lines. There are also more biblical references, such as with "The Wicked End", it heavily refers to the story of Adam And Eve, and "The Beast And The Harlot" is about The City Of Babylon. The vocal lines, when not singing are used as a sort of other instrament, keeping rhythm and time going at a good pace. As I noted before, M. Shadows no longer screams. There are rumours for this but either way he doesnt't scream any more. His voice does sometimes get a bit nasally, but if you get used to it, then it is just right. I personally think it sounds better at times.
Overall Impression — 10
All in all, This album is by far the best of the three albums released. There are concepts that aren't quite as good, but overall it kicks the crap out of the others. If you buy this album, make sure you listen to The Beast And The Harlot and Burn It Down first, the two songs have a perfect transition that sounds great. Also be sureto listen to M.I.A and Betrayed (written in the memory of Dimebag Darrell). I love the guitarwork in it, the scales and rhythm patterns are out of this world. And if someone stole this album from me, I'd kill their families, cus it is by far my favourite album.