Sound — 8
Coheed's new album sounds a tad bit heavier overall than past efforts, gone are the abundance of slower songs, and now you see a lot of heavy stuff with some softer stuff sprinkled in here and there. The guitars themselves sound great and are well written, they really harmonize and mix for an awesome wall of hard rock glory. My only issues with it are that some of the overall feel of the songs are frequent, and it's not as varied as their last album, or the one before it.
Lyrics — 8
A lot of the lyrics are based around the Armory Wars, a common theme in a lot of Coheed's work. It is a concept album, a part of an overall story. It is kind of cool, that it's based on something instead of randomness, and it's not as obvious and it doesn't always make you feel like you're reading a book alongside some music. Of course, Claudio's voice is an acquired taste. His somewhat feminine voice is kind of annoying, but on this album he doesn't sound as girlish, and it's a good breath of fresh air from a lot of the popular modern day hardcore vocals.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, it's about equal to their past efforts. It's not going to scare away hardcore fans, if anything it may bring in some of the skeptical people who were turned off by the vocals on songs like "A Favor House Atlantic". Some notable songs are the title track, The Hound, and Gravemakers and Gunslingers. I love the energy in the music itself, and the aggressive in your face vocal style of Claudio Sanchez. The only thing I really dislike about it is the random little vocal parts that don't really fit (see Gravemakers and Gunslingers, the voice of a little girl saying "there's just no time for this"). I would recommend this album to friends, and if it someone was completely eliminated from my library, I would probably give it another buy. It's a quality album that's sure to please it's fans, and probably some non-fans alike.