Sound — 9
BFMV's second effort features a Melodic Thrash Metal sound, it's mostly very aggressive, fast paced, melodic (obiously), with some great solos. Although changing styles from Metalcore to Thrash, Bullet manages to retain their original sound which differs them from other bands, the guitar tone is still the same, the drums are too, if you listen to this album first and "The Poison" afterwards you'll still be able to recognize Bullet from the first track you hear. The production values are great, every little sound is heard, there is absolutely nothing that strains your ear, the clear production also adds to the sheer aggression of the record. There are also a few mellow songs on the album, and this is where Bullet really shines (even though they probably wanted to be remembered for aggression). Tracks like "Say Goodnight", "Hearts Burst Into Fire", "Forever and Always" are full of emotion, great guitar work and are the most memorable songs on this album in every aspect, they have the best riffs, solos, pack serious emotional power in them, and are the best in overall songwriting.
Lyrics — 9
Some lyrics are very good, some are generic and cheesy, the present themes are: war, loss, personal struggles, revenge, longing. The romance themes from "The Poison" are gone and forgotten, sometimes it's for the best, but a few songs could use them, yes, I obviously mean the mellow ones, heh. Most of the screams present on "The Poison" are gone as well, the reason would be Matt Tuck's throat problems and following operation. That made his clean vocals change as well, they are now lower, but in no way worse than the ones on their debut, just different. Bullet succeeded in compiling the lyrics and vocals with the music, in thrash songs they are urging to scream with them, in mellow songs they present the picture Bullet wants you to see very clearly. Overall, Bullet have done a great job.
Overall Impression — 9
I am very impressed with this album, it's a big improvement over "The Poison" in almost every aspect, save for the lyrics where they are about equal. SAF is the definetive Bullet album, easier to get into than their debut, packs more originality, emotion, and of course, good metal. The album is definetely worth your hard earned buck/pound/euro/whatever. The strongest tracks would be "Forever and Always", "Hearts Burst Into FIre", "Say Goodnight", "End of Days", and "Waking the Demon".