Sound — 8
Well, this album was different, certainly. My first thoughts were that the band as a whole had matured, which I think is true, but also, they seem to have become much more 'radio friendly'. However, the fundamentals remain. Ben still creates magnificent lyrics, and performs them brilliantly, Ian still has magnificent riffs, which can keep you transfixed for hours, and Aaron and Jon still keep the band together with their constant rhythm and timing. In fact, in many aspects the band as a whole has improved by a lot. Solos are now a regular and successful occurrence in BT songs now, Jon's basslines have a more prominent part to play, and Aaron's drumming is now a lot more imaginative. So, although this may not be BT's best ever album, there is still plenty of reason to go out and buy this album and enjoy it.
Lyrics — 9
As I said earlier, Ben has succeeded once again in delivering and performing absolutely stunning lyrics and his lyrics are still very unique. Many of the songs do seem to focus on love or relationships, much more so than previous albums, for example, Saint Veronika, White Sparrows and Diamond On A Landmine. However, BT haven't gone soft on us. The lyrics are still as angry and powerful as This Is How It Goes and Worker Bees, and the lyrics are certainly no weakness on this album. One of the most noticeable absences on this album is the lack of screaming, which many BT fans had grown accustomed to. This seems to feature much less frequently, and this is a definite weakness to the album. Despite this gap, though, the vocals are as strong as ever, and Ian supports Ben as well as ever, again adding another dimension to the songs.
Overall Impression — 8
01.Devil On My Shoulder: as we have come to expect over the past 3 albums, the band always choose the perfect track to open the album. After a perfect opening, we enter straight into the verse, before a brilliant pre-chorus leads into the chorus, in which Ben and Ian harmonise. This is definitely a song to look out for, and Jon's bass is a very high point of the song. 9/10 02.Rusted From The Rain: the first, and thus far, only single. When I first heard this song, I wasn't convinced, it seemed too much like a whiny ballad to me, but it has grown on me, and is definitely a good follow on to [B]Devil On My Shoulder[/B]. 8/10 03.Saint Veronika: this song tackles the topic of suicide, and it is certainly a very heartfelt song, which made it initially a song to avoid, but again it has grown on me. The guitar riff makes me think of an irregular pulse, as if to portray feeling of uncertainty or nerves, which I find a great feature to the song. 9/10 04.Tears Into Wine: I think this will definitely be a single, purely because every part of it is much like the older Billy Talent. The verse begins with a muted guitar, with excellent harmony from Ian, before going into the pre-chorus, which slows it down perfectly before the chorus. The solo in this song is great and is really catchy. 10/10 05.White Sparrows: another one of my favourites. This is a very emotional, heartfelt song, and I get the impression that each member of the band has given their all for this song. The chorus is particularly powerful because of Ian's scream-like vocals. 10/10 06.Pocketful Of Dreams: this is a good song, more sing-along than the first 5 songs, but that isn't a bad thing. The guitar work is very catchy and at times make the song feel very abrupt. 8/10 07.The Dead Can't Testify: my favourite song of the album. The simple, but effective intro leads nicely into the verse which has a great drum beat behind it. Then, as we near the chorus, we slowly build up in both volume and speed, and we finally reach the chorus, which comes much later into the song, it is very worth the wait. This is followed by a solo, which I consider to be the best of the album. 10/10 08.Diamond On A Landmine: this song is good, but definitely not a favourite of mine. This seems like the ultimate attempt to become 'radio-friendly', and it could have gone either way. Unfortunately, for me, it was not a particularly impressive song. Having said that, the chorus is very good, but the rest of the song is too empty for me. 8/10 09.Turn Your Back: I love this song, because it acts very much as Beach Balls did in between Watoosh!, by Pezz, and BT's first album - it is a transition from the dark, obscure depths of the punk world, into an attempt to be noticed, and become 'radio-friendly'. This contains elements of early, and modern Billy Talent, and fits together very well. 10/10 10.Sudden Movements: despite it's heaviness and volume, this song is the slowest song on the album, and it is very noticeable. However, it is not too long, just the right length in fact, and makes it a very good song. 8/10 11.Definition Of Destiny: as we have come to expect killer opening tracks from BT albums, we expect a very strong closing song. Billy Talent do not seem to want to bow out quietly, like some bands, and this makes their albums brilliant. It is consistent throughout. This album makes no exception. This song is one of the best songs, and definitely one of the most energetic songs on the album. Ian and Ben work very together in this song, and will Jon and Aaron's rhythm behind them, this song cannot fail to impress. 9/10 A slightly different Billy Talent in this album, as they try to move to a more recognised role in the limelight. This could be seen as quite a weak album by some fans, but I believe they have proved they still have the ability to produce a quality album, and although this isn't as good as the previous two albums, this is still a very good album, and should not be seen as a failure.