Sound — 9
This album is the first of Brian "Head" Welch's solo project since leaving Korn. Musically this album is great. Songs like "L.O.V.E.", "Money", "Die Religion Die", and "Washed By Blood" are carried by some instense, catchy, and staright up heavy guitar riffs. The album is also filled with some very Korn-like lead riffs, and for the most part are very satisfying. The one thing lacking musically on this album is the intricate and bouncy rhythms that Korn was known for. So fans of Korn will appreciate the heaviness, but will be left wanting the heavy grooves. Head also uses (or maybe even oversuses) a lot of synth sounds on this album, and for the most part it really adds to the sound ("Shake", "Save Me From Myself") but at times the over-layered synth sounds get a little annoying ("Home", "Loyalty", "Adonai"). There are a few songs that are just too long and although they start off well, just the fact that they are lengthy cause them to grow stale. If some of the songs on this album were a minute or two shorter (most of them are over 6 minutes long), they would have packed a much more impressive punch.
Lyrics — 6
That's probably as nice I can be when describing the lyrics. In all fairness, you can really feel his intense emotions when he describes his former life, and honestly, the lyrics are easier to take that Jon Davis' incessant bitching and moaning (note: I've been a Korn fan for years and still love their music, and I could really relate to their lyrics. When I was 15. But you'd think that a 40 year old would over his pubescant angst by now). Luckily, there isn't any Simple-Plan-on-a-drunken-rampage style lyrics on this album. What is incredibly frustrating is the simple writing style of the lyrics. Brian Welch tries to cram an entire sunday morning sermon into each one of his songs, and it gets a little tiresome. He's got a lot of good things to say, but doesn't seem like he really knows how to say it. The phrasing and lyrical structure also make you think it was written by a teenager fresh home from Youth Church. Vocally, Brian does a pretty good job. His screaming is incredible! His unique singing style really works in songs like Shake, Money, and Washed By Blood (he seems to take some vocal inspiration from Metallica in the chorus of this one), but on many spots in the album his vocals sound rather lack-lustre and sound like a tired man trying to growl. The lyrical style leaves much to be desired, the sing style is hit and miss.
Overall Impression — 8
Okay, so for a first album, it's pretty good. It matches up to Korn as far as heaviness and intensity, but falls short in the singing department. Hopefully Brian develops his sound a little more and learns from his mistakes. I am very much anticipating his next album, whenever that may be. The album sometimes feels over produced, and some songs drag on a bit too long, but other tracks are raw, heavy and are plentiful in the "awww yeeeeah" factor. The album is worth the money, but if I ended up losing this one, I don't know how fast I would go out to get it replaced. I would probably just hop on iTunes and get the better tracks. It's not ground breaking, but it's enjoyable, and you can definitely connect with some of the high emotions. Highlights: Shake (by far the best song, I would call this one ground-breaking), Money, Die Religion Die, LOVE, Flush, Re-Bel, Washed By Blood. Lowlights: Adonai, Loyalty, Home