Sound — 7
Bullet said all along ever since they announce the makings of a new album that they were aiming for a heavier sound, and they certainly achieved it on this record, heavy riff after heavy riff, a solo in basically every song bar maybe one or two and some heavy almost james hetfield influenced singing, not to mentioned the sweet screaming despite matt's vocal surgery and whatnot. I think what this album really lacked in general was the pure originality found on bullet's previous effort, the poison. I think bullet put themselves in a situation where they were trying to sound heavier and more metal, but couldn't detach themselves from the more metalcore sort of sound that they originated with, and as a result, lead to an almost try-hard metal sound. don't get me wrong though, I do like this album, it has some quality songs, but it also has obvious flaws. one of these being the fact that they chose to end almost every song very suddenly, which left the impression that they were out of ideas or they just plain didn't know where the song was going. this sudden ending is usually accompanied by a growl or a yell too, which got somewhat annoying and repetitive. Another factor that gave the impression of a lack of ideas is that the riff in the bridge of the song 'Last To Know' is almost exactly the same as the main riff of the song 'Disappear' except maybe perhaps played at a different tempo. It was almost as though bullet thought no one would notice and they could get away with recycling the same riff on an album. Some songs seem very half-hearted and indecisive, an example of this would be 'Waking The Demon', though it's probably one of the best if not the best song on the album. It starts off with on of the better riffs I've heard from any band, and builds up ultimately just to the the same riff with some awesome drum work from Moose (who really shines on this song by the way), the tempo of the song is very fast paced and gets you pumped up and everything, and then it goes into this melodic sort of bridge with softer vocals and some nice guitar work, which is fine really, as it leads into an amazing solo by Padge, but the instead of continuing the tempo after the solo, they just repeat the bridge again and kind of leave the song up in the air. Another song that I was very disappointed with was 'Say Goodnight'. It was a soft melodic song, with epic solos opening each verse, and in my opinion would've been the best song on the entire album if it weren't for bullet realising that they weren't being metal enough and started screaming toward the end of the song, ruining a perfectly good melodic song with beautiful lyrics and everything. I found that to be the biggest disappointment of the album. Also, 'Hearts Burst Into Fire', though it was a solid power ballad, with a quality intro solo, it kind of faded into nothing after the second chorus, this is evident as they chose to end the song by screaming "when hearts burst into fire", which I thought, much like "say goodnight" was unwelcome as the whole song was soft melodic singing up until the end. But as a whole it's not like they said they were going to be heavier and more aggresive and didn't come up with the goods, they certainly did achieve what they set out to do, but it was an album with the right idea, just could've been better.
Lyrics — 9
Lyrics have never really been a big problem with bullet and this album is no exception. It had, I guess you could say, a less emo concept to them in comparison to the poison's lyrics. This album had lyrics, about war, thunderstorms (in Eye of the Storm, which I thought was a little unoriginal and seemed very forced), they also had lyrics about bullies and revenge, being out on the road and missing your lover. Generally some decent concepts. What I was impressed with the most was matt tuck's ability to still deliver some quality vocals, despite his vocal surgery, which admirably they make no effort to cover up. in fact the song "Deliver Us From Evil" is actually about matt's vocal issues and whatnot. and along with bassist jay, matt manages to not only produce some heavier singing vocals that match the music, but he also pulls off some screams, which again is very impressive, perhaps not up to the standard of the poison, but is still very good. I think the lyrics and vocals were fine, if only it was incorporated into better song structure. I gave the lyrics/vocals a 9 mainly because of matt tucks delivery through his vocal issues.
Overall Impression — 6
Overall I guess it was a decent effort in the end. I wouldn't say it was as good as the poison, but still a fair album. I think it will appeal to more metal fans which I think is what the band wants, so they were successful in that department. the most impressive songs on the album, would have to be "Scream, Aim, Fire", "Waking The Demon", "End Of Days", "Take It Out On Me" and "Say Goodnight", the worst song would have to be "Last To Know" which seemed to be a song they included to get 11 tracks. I like bullet's ability to achieve what they set out to do, I just think they need to be more original about it. it was a solid effort, if it was stolen, I'd be annoyed because I like the band, but I probably wouldn't buy it again.