Sound — 9
Well, I've taken it upon my own will to write a review for an album that doesn't come out for another week. I couldn't resist downloading the leak considering I pre-ordered it well in advance and am having it shipped to me as we speak. So, for those who also have the leak, or for those who can't wait to hear about what it's like, keep reading. Otherwise, this is my final warning: if you do not want this album spoiled for you, please leave. Google happy bunnies or something. It's not my fault if you keep reading and didn't want it spoiled for you. Okay so onward. Chiodos' sound really shifted with this record. Gone are the cliche open D5 and diminished chord breakdowns in every song, and we welcome an almost darker, more serious Chiodos. They really caught the attention of a wide fanbase two years ago with "All's Well That Ends Well" and they are sure to keep a good portion of those fans, as well as gaining some new ones. However, I have a feeling some people will be a little disappointed with "Bone Palace Ballet". Who knows. Chiodos has blended a lot of styles just like their previous effort, with songs on both ends of the spectrum. The mellow and chilling "I Didn't Say I Was Powerful, I Said I Was A Wizard" is almost a complete 180 from the majority of "The Undertaker's Thirst For Revenge Is Unquenchable (The Final Battle)", which features vocals from Nick of the band Underminded. Overall, the album is pretty dark and raw, and every instrument in the band sounds in place. Jason's leads stick out as one of my favorite parts, especially in "Lexington. (Joey Pea-Pot With A Monkey Face)" in which he shreds some arpeggiated sweeps that just sound so perfect. Piano overall is very good. Brad really shines on "Wizard". Overall the sound is what I would have liked to hear in a Chiodos record with a lot of new flavor. I'm sure listeners will be pretty pleased. Does it top "All's Well" though? You be the judge.
Lyrics — 10
Well, I really don't need to say much more than this: Craig's vocals have gotten exponentially better. If you thought he was good before, you'll think he is absolutely stellar on "Bone Palace Ballet". Not only did his singing improve, but his screaming has improved also. He definitely did something between the two full-lengths, because every note and every spine-chilling scream is absolutely perfect. Probably one of the best aspects of this album, if not *the* best. Alongside the vocals, the lyrics that accompany are very narrative. The album title was taken from a novel written by Charles Bukowski, and it's evident that some influence was taken from some of his writings as well. The whole thing opens with "Is It Progression If A Cannibal Uses A Fork?" and you hear heavy breathing as if a character in a story has just awoke from a nightmare. Craig also gives clues to this in a line in the song that accompany the image. Pretty cool.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall the sound is what I would have liked to hear in a new Chiodos album. It's polished well, the mixing is up to par, and every song is distinguishable on the album. I would strongly recommend sitting down and taking some time to take the whole album in from front to back, track by track, because each song is very different. I'm not sure if the songs all tell a linear story, but in my opinion, they could have put songs 2 through 9 in any order because they all have a different sound to them. I don't really like the lack of songs though. Ten songs is pretty minimal, especially considering they supposedly wrote 15 for this album. They could have at least surprised us with a hidden track, which actually seems to be turning up in fewer CDs that I buy nowadays. All in all, a pretty damn good effort. One more thing to say though: First listeners beware, it's almost nothing like anything they've done before. The closest thing to their previous material is "Teeth The Size Of Piano Keys". But those looking for an "All's Well That Ends Well Part 2", turn away.