Sound — 8
At first glance, The Poison seems to be nothing more than your standard metalcore screaming nonsense (which it is, in a sense), but if you were to look deeper you would see that it is very much an original recording. The twin guitar attack is nothing new, but the way it's done here, with as much harmonisation as there is, makes for something of a generic-yet-unique sound, and I have no doubt that it is that which helped to propel the band above most other metalcore bands. However, some of the songs on this album invite a sense of deja vu, with some of the tracks sounding similar, and I can't help but think that BFMV were scraping the barrel in the ideas department towards the end of the album. Depite this, it is a solid recording and an excellent debut album.
Lyrics — 6
As you may or may not know, Matt Tuck (the vocalist) usually writes the lyrics after the rest of the song has been recorded, and there is evidence on it in this album. Some of the vocals don't quite fit in with the music, and there appears to be a reliance on screaming, which gives the album a chaotic and unrefined sound, but not in the way which can make an album excellent (such as in Linkin Park's "Meteora"). On the other hand, the vocal and lyrical talent shown on "Tears Don't Fall" goes someway to redeeming this aspect of the album slightly, and it's the kind of track that makes a good album very good, a very good album excellent, and a bad album pretentious. As it is, I'd say it makes a good album very good.
Overall Impression — 8
I don't know a great deal about the metalcore genre, so I can't really pass much of a judgement about this, but I hear the Lostprophets and Funeral For A Friend are good competitors in the area. As for songs, the most impressive has to be "Tears Don't Fall" (for reasons explained above, and the fact that it stands out so much from the rest of the album), closely followed by "Room 409", simply for the guitar work throughout especially the catchy intro. The best part of this ablum has to be the twin guitar approach to the music, with the harmonisation taking the music to a whole new level. If I had to give a criticism, it would be of the repetitiveness of the album, especially towards the end of it. I would say that this is only a must-have if you love BFMV, and if you don't, but are interested, get Scream, AIm Fire instead, and then get this if you loved that.