Sound — 8
This album is definitely a change from their others. I've noticed as I listen to this, I picture a dark theme that could be used in any of the songs' videos. I just have very dark/depressing thoughts in my mind. Because of this, it's made me realized how much they have changed from their previous albums, Saturate and We Are Not Alone. Saturate, in my point of view, was a masterpiece. Every song was good and original. We Are Not Alone had more generic and boring songs, but I still liked some songs on it. Phobia seems to be a combination of both. The drums have always been impressive in every album, and this is no different, it could even be better (due to their new drummer perhaps). The guitars have heavy sounds for the most part, but will slow down often and have more mellow sounds. I noticed that often you will hear a heavier, distorted guitar sound combined with a more high-pitched and catchy guitar sounds. When you compare this album to the others, you will definitely notice a much more dark feel and overall change to their music. Some songs are heavier than others, yes, just like any album can have, but I very much enjoyed the contrast.
Lyrics — 10
Has Ben Burnley ever been considered underrated? This man is so ridiculously talented. When parts of certain songs have more boring, generic guitar riffs, he basically makes up for it with his lyrics and singing skills. He can scream ferociously, and can also sing with a softer, mellow sound. When hearing this album, I've honestly come to my senses more about him. I've always known he's a great vocalist, and this album just tops things off. The lyrics are, yes, more angry, depressing, and personal. It seems like everyone tries to be in their music nowadays, but you can't blame them, because fans look for music they can connect to. Anyone could connect to the lyrics because of how personal they can be, and you can tell they actually try to put meaning into their music/lyrics. After listening to songs like "Had Enough" or "Topless" to a song like "The Diary Of Jane (Acoustic)", you can't not be impressed by his singing skills or lyrics.
Overall Impression — 9
Breaking Benjamin has yet to disappoint me. "Phobia" is no masterpiece, but it's definitely worth the purchase and listening to. Yes, if I lost it I'd buy it again in a heartbeat. The deepness and passion in their music and lyrics makes me love this album even more. It's not as heavy as "Saturate" or semi-generic as "We Are Not Alone", so it's right in the middle. It has songs that will stick out and some that you won't enjoy as much as others (just like any album could). My particular favorties are "Breath", "Until The End", "Evil Angel", and both versions of "The Diary Of Jane". Overall, I very much so enjoyed this album. Any fan of Breaking Benjamin will have difficulty being let down with "Phobia", unless you have really high standards and expect a masterpiece.