Sound — 9
The album starts off with an acoustic number, "The Reaping", that introduces the album well. It is like a narrator's overview of what this album is going to be about. Then the music explodes with "No World for Tomorrow", and from there on out it is an incredible musical journey through their universe. The guitar solos in this album range from heavy metal to classic rock. They also use violin, piano, and other such instruments to add to the sound. A great thing about this band is their incredibly full sound, which is very appropriate for their epic tale.
Lyrics — 9
Their albums all tell a continuing story that they also wrote into a comic book form. They deserve recognition for having the unique idea. It also helps you understand the music if you know the story. Their singer has a very distinct voice, which is something I always value in a band. Their lyrics are also very well written. Although the overall story can be hard to pick out, the lyrics are still meaningful in any context, and they're very poetic and creative.
Overall Impression — 9
An amazing thing about this album is that there is not one low point. There are moments that are more powerful than others, but not one minute feels like it was just thrown in or put there for filler. The only thing I don't like about this album is their use of some strong profanity, which is really a matter of preference. If I had to choose I'd say the highlights are "Mother Superior", "No World for Tomorrow", "The End Complete IV: The Road and the Damned", and "The End Complete V: On The Brink." But there's really not a weak track on this album, and if I could choose all of them, I would. You just can't go wrong with this album. It's got some heavy metal moments, but it's not so heavy that it would drive away most listeners who like softer music. It mixes different styles and heaviness throughout the album, so it's never boring or too similar. If you don't have this album, I strongly suggest that you give it a listen. And if you lose it, buy it again!