Sound — 10
Well to start off I think this CD expands on Sevenfold's sound a lot, I think it combines all their previous stuff such as God hates us which sounds more like something off of Sounding the Seventh trumpet with the screaming M. Shadows does but also has it's softer sides such as So Far Away which is a song written specificly to Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan after his death this past year (2009). I think the biggest departure is Fiction which is a song Jimmy wrote three days before his death, his vocals are still in the song which I think fit perfectly and it's really kind of a farewell song to Jimmy, which fits very well. Synyster Gates also returns to his kind of trademark awesome guitar solos like the ones he had in City of Evil, the most notable guitar solo in my eyes is in the song Buried Alive, which starts out slow with sort of a Led Zepplin vibe then halfway through the song the guitar solo kicks in and kicks major ass, which then makes a smooth transfer to a more Metallica sounding second half. Overall I love the way the album sounds.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics to most songs are written as a memorial for Jimmy so most of the songs have to do with metaphors about death and pain and I think it fits since they lost one of their brothers and this is their way of showing him respect. M. Shadows singing skills are basiclly the same as they were on the self titled album, which isn't a bad thing at all but he does make one big departure he hasn't made since Waking The Fallen... Yes, the album has a song with screaming vocals. On the song God Hates Us M. Shadows decides to use screaming vocals to show his emotion but they aren't his usual screaming style, instead of going with a higher-pitched scream he uses a lower-pitched scream, almost like a Bullet For my Vallentine type scream, which I think suits the song very well. The lyrics are a good tribute to Jimmy and if you wanna relive the good old days listen to God Hates Us and take in all the glory.
Overall Impression — 10
This CD doesn't really compare to their other albums, I think they were in a much darker place after the death of Jimmy which shows itself in songs like God Hates Us and Natural Borl Killers which results in it being much heavier. The songs I like the most from the disk are Nightmare, Buried Alive, Natural Born Killer, God Hates Us, Fiction, and Save Me, though I give all the songs a 10 those songs stick out the most to me. If this CD was lost or stolen I would definately buy another copy and hurt whoever stole it from me. There is nothing bad about this CD in my eyes, the A7X guys definately do Jimmy justice in this CD, if you are an A7X fan you have to get this to keep Jimmy's memory alive, and even if your not get this CD and give these guys a chance, I guarentee you will not be disappointed.