Sound — 8
For the Ninth Studio album and the first in 6 yrs, I would have to say the sound is what it is... Analog. The album was produced by the man himself and he got what he wanted and gave you what he wanted you to hear. Now... This is a departure from the normal and alot of fans a critics are either going to love or hate this sound. The fans will love it and most critics will probably hate it. But even Tom Waits records and has recorded albums like this. And nobody ever bitches about the quality. So I just wanna say right now to the critics "f--k You if you don't like it" I scored it an eight because.. I love the raw unprocessed sounds and clean vocals, to which by the way, are the best I have heard since 4, and but sometimes the guitar work gets lost, sometimes there is too much going on (chorus in Hammer of The Gods, sometimes the drums were weak(Rebel Spirits), and the Bass guitar was blended with the low end of the guitar so you never get that deep punch or rumble. But it is possible for Glenn to have wanted it that way. Analog was a the way to go, and this album on Viynl will kick ass. The sounds and songs are reminiscent of 1 - 4 and some of the drums beats are that of 7 and 8. Speaking of drums... Danzig can still put out some wicked beats on the skins. Black Candy is Amazing! Tommy and John really round this album out. Tommy should never be compared to John Christ or vice verse. They are 2 different styles of playing. Tommy's guitar work and soloing are awesome.. Sometimes lost in production but fierce. He brings the metal blues element front and center and keeps his Prong sound at bey. John Kelly is on target. All the time. He is very versatile and can perform some major beats with ease. He gives slow swaggering beats some aggression without going over the top. This line up.. Along with Steve Zing (for live shows)is one of the best lineups since the 4p album. It is solid and very cohesive as a unit especially live. And that is my opinion.
Lyrics — 10
Glenn is back at it again. Dark brooding lyrics, hidden meanings, innuendos, violent horrific imagery, all that you would expect. He never fails and always uses intelligence(I.e. Deth Red Sabaoth spelling). His voice is in great form. He never lost it as most would think, and you can understand the words and hear them. Once again... Analog!
Overall Impression — 9
Overall... This album brings you back to the early days. There is one song that can be the potential "Mother" on this album and that is "Deth Red Moon". If you listen to the whole album.. Then you will easily see that it is a stand out and has a commercial (yuck) sound. I feel that it is billboard and radio ready. Other awesome songs that stand out are "Ju Ju Bone". This has a sorta sexual, evil connotation to it. The pace and the beat are like Lucifuge era. "Pyre Of Souls: Incanticle" is like what Black Aria III would sound like. And it is f--kin dark and killer! Then "Pyre Of Souls: Seasons Of Pain" comes in and finishes the job with Tommy pounding you with killer rifs and in ur face solos that shred like nobodys business. "Left Hand Rise Above" is a standard album closer. To which I love! I always look forward to his album closers. He has some of the best and they always end the journey perfect. This one succeeds on all levels. It sounds a lil like "Going Down To Die" infused with a lil "Dying Seraph". I could go on and on about the rest of the songs but they are all good The only song that kills me is "Hammer Of The Gods". Great Verses and Melody but when it comes to the chorus, then you become lost. You don't know what to sing or listen to lyric wise, because too much is going on vocally at the same time and the guitars added in with some riffage. Its becomes one big mess... Almost perfect if some vox tracks and guitar work was cut back or out. Now I love this song live.. Because you don't have the layers and all the extras. It is not messy anymore! Amazing Live!... Album version.. Meh. Would like to have and heard "Long Dark Road" that he talked about.. Hope he releases it as a single or B side. Other than that... Buy the album. It is worth the money and it is all that he said it would be. He delivered on his word in my opinion. And that's just my opinion.