Sound — 10
Breaking Benjamin seems to improve their craft with every album they release. Diverting from the normal ideas behind alt-rock of becoming poppier and more up beat, they chose to add a very melodic and dark theme behind this album. The sound is very haunting from time to time, and the great mixture of heavy riffs with melodies throughout really adds a sense of turbulance to the thought process behind the sound. This sense of schizophrenia just furthers to add to the sense of maddening darkness that permeates throughout the album. The extensive use of harmonics, and other instrumental techniques really adds to the technical musicianship of the album as well.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics on this album definetely shine above previous outings, that's not to say that 'Saturate' and 'We Are Not Alone' had terrible lyrics by any means, both albums are amazing in their own right. Ben Burnley's vocal stylings come into their own on this album more than previous outings. His voice adds to the dark and haunting sense that the listener feels as they journey through the minds of the songwriters. A particular highlight is the vocal work on the song "You". Ben's vocal range climbing up and down really adds to the effect of the whole album. However his growls come to highlight on this album too, finding more places to fit in, as well as being very well designed and controlled. Also the dark conotation one gets from the lyrics adds to the chilling effect this album creates. Songs such as "The Diary of Jane" and "Evil Angel" really stand out in this department I feel... The very concept of Jane, as stated by Ben Burnley, is the idea of the anonymous woman, Jane Doe. "I will try to find my place, in the Diary of Jane" is just a powerful notion, trying to find some way to be worth something to someone who refuses to allow you to be a part of their life. Overall I love the dark concepts behind these lyrics.
Overall Impression — 10
Where as most bands on the radio seem to start losing their touch by the 3rd album (I.e. Staind), Breaking Benjamin shows signs of progress and experimentation rarely seen in the normal concept of commercially acceptable music. I think some people may not care for this new album, just because of the way it chooses to experiment and divert from the normal course of radio acceptable music, however most of those people would prolly be much happier buying Fall Out Boy or some other commercial mass-produced slop. The most impressive tracks on this album are "The Diary of Jane", "Evil Angel" and "Dance with the Devil". Dance has an extremely catchy chorus that sticks with you for hours after you put the album down. What I love about this album is the choice to experiment and the more melodic, dark concepts behind it. Honestly I can find no reason to knock this album, it is just a masterpiece, that the more I listen to it, the more I fall in love with it. Were I to lose it, I would definetely spend the money to replace it. This is a must have for any Breaking Benjamin fan, as well as anyone who appreciates dark melody over poppy upbeat music.