Sound — 9
Since I first heard Mind Control's frantic sweeps and furious rhythm work from the iPod of my cousin (who, as it were, has turned me on to numerous examples of some of the best in the same and in similar genres) I was hooked on Burning the Masses. Their sound is actually quite different than many other modern-metal monsters, like Whitechapel or Cannibal Corpse; but that's definitely a good thing. The band seems to draw at least their approach to riffing from some of The Black Dahlia Murder's most intricate verse structures, and as such, most of the verses are very quick, and incredibly engaging. The riffs are most always harmonies, between both guitarists in the typical 'metal' thirds, but are varied enough to stay fresh through repeated listening. One of my favorite things about 2008's Mind Control was the drumming; and it has carried over several times over. From the almost sustained bass drumming in the first breakdown in "Immersed Entity" to the incredible rhythms on the tail-end of "Tsar Bomb," the drums don't let up for a minute, and anyone who likes to pick the instruments out of a mix will find much to love here. It's hard to explain just how the album sounds without having an example, so check out a few on YouTube if you feel the need.
Lyrics — 7
To be completely honest, the lyrics don't mean much to me, since Big C's voice is a little on the incredibly vicious side of the vocal scale. Which, in this style of music, is always a good thing. His voice may be nearly impossible to understand; but what you do take away from it all at the end is a "Wow, I bet he can't talk anymore after that!" thought and an urge to show all of your friends this "Brutal singer" in this "amazing tech/death band!"
Overall Impression — 7
Overall? If you are into technical death metal, or just kind of want to listen to the San Diego love-child of Necrophagist and the Black Dahlia Murder, then definitely give it a try. The only problem I think I have with the album is that; like most death metal albums, it's hard to listen to it for long periods of time or when conversing with friends; as most of the tracks tend to blend into each other when you don't pay attention, and nothing stands out. It's a great listen if you have the time and money, but if you're deciding between this and maybe something easier to listen to like Joe Satriani's new album, then maybe you should take the safe route. But, any technical death metal fans should definitely give this one a try.