Sound — 8
This group have been likened to My Chem and Rush, but on this album I can't really see anything that likens them to these - they really are in a category of their own. As with all the Coheed & Cambria albums, the songs are based on the Amory Wars graphic novel (which, lets be honest, is just a fancy name for a comic!), and this section of the album follows the break up with Miss Erica Court and running from an ever encroaching virus. The actual sound and genre they come under is prog rock/metal, but this album also uses the acoustic guitar quite prevalently, which is unusual but works. They also use repeating motifs throughout the album, and the story I think really benefits from that.
Lyrics — 7
Lyrically, this album really is rather smashing. They give you a real idea of what is going on in this potentially confusing world that Claudio Sanchez (their guitarist) has created. However, sometimes the lyrics can be a bit strong and it is the only album I have seen (to date) with a "Violent Content" warning below the "Parental Advisory" warning. Sanchez continues with his unexpectedly high voice that he has used throughout the career, that is only occasionally annoying.
Overall Impression — 9
There isn't a huge amount you can compare this with, apart from MAYBE Rush and other Coheed and Cambria albums. My personal favourites on the album are "Welcome Home" and "The Final Cut", but all the songs are good in their own way - even "Keeping The Blade", which is strings, seems to fit in nicely! I love, musically, the way that the guitar pieces work with each other very well, and the solo on "The Final Cut" - OH. MY. GOD. Possibly my favourite ever made, and I'm not just saying that. If I had to make one criticism it would be the changing riffs constantly, as it makes it difficult to learn! Were it stolen, I would definitely rebuy it - it is a fantastic album and would be sorely missed.