Sound — 9
Well if you've been a fan of Avenged Sevenfold since the beginning, you can instantly tell that their sound has completely changed from Sounding the Seventh Trumpet and Waking the Fallen. Personally, being a huge fan, I enjoyed their approach to this album. Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance definitely stepped up to the challenge and created some amazing guitar riffs in every track on this album. Syn, by some mystic powers, creates unique and melodic solos throughout the whole album and of course The Reverend will always be The Reverend. Matt Shadows, however, took a different approach to this album. Instead of the scream filled Waking the Fallen album, he chooses singing, and trust me, this album is filled with countless vocal melodies, but many fans disliked his singing, but personally, I still loved it because it's still Avenged Sevenfold.
Lyrics — 9
I think the lyrics are amazing on this album. Matt Shadows and the band were actually creative unlike many other metal bands and found various topics to sing about such as war (M.I.A.) and Dimebag Darrell (Betrayed). The lyrics fit perfectly with each and every song on this album and you never question, "Hmmm that sounds kind of funny," whenever you listen to this.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this was an amazing album. Although their sound has changed drastically, for the better or for the worst, I can safely say that this album is amazing front to back. I can't really choose the most impressive songs because I enjoy all of them, but I would say that you should give Seize the Day a listen to because it has alot of emotion driven by acoustic guitars and a slash-like solo, which is amazing in my opinion and it ends with amazing sweeps. But my favorite song off this album has got to be M.I.A. This song has everything you can think of and then some. It's a perfect closer for an album. It starts off with a harmonized clean guitar riff (I love harmonies) and continues to crescendo into an amazing main riff with harmony lead parts and two amazing solos and ends with an amazing acoustic solo. I'm saying amazing alot aren't I? Well, it's true and I will not lie that I enjoyed this album alot and that you should take a listen to it.