Sound — 9
First off, Deliver Us is very different from most anything DH has done before. The lyrics have become more political, the guitars have become more technical, the drums are more pummeling, and the bass is louder and faster. The vocals have gotten better, and on some tracks John Henry actually sings. This is a large departure from the angry voice lashing out toward society that we usually hear. Mike Schleibaum makes a larger appearance on this album than the last 2 they have released. He writes more songs and even has a few solos on the album! Kris Norris takes his usual shred master supreme role on the album, writing the more technical, heavily swept solos, and writing the some technical riffs on most of the songs. You can also definitely hear the Devin Townsend influence in this album. It sounds like he really helped push them on this album.
Lyrics — 8
John Henry has definitely evolved over the past few albums. This is not as large of a leap as he took from Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation to Undoing Ruin, but it is a large step. He sounds much more guttural, overall heavier, and has more strength in his voice. You can especially tell in the track, "An Ethereal Drain". I find he has a deeper tone in this album than before. His lyrics have become much more meaningful as well. His singing is not bad at all, and I don't understand all the criticism he has gotten for singing on this album. A lot of people have said that he can't sing, which is untrue. He proves his vocal diversity on the So Sedated, So Secure re-issue where he does a cover of Pentagram's "Be Forewarned". I find that he does a great job, and think that die hard fans are just worried that he is trying to make the band "soft". I find that he is just trying to give the tracks more diversity.
Overall Impression — 10
I thoroughly enjoy this album. I find it can stands above most of what has been done in metalcore and is a step in good direction. I find this album to be really under-rated, and a real diamond in the rough. My favorite tracks on the album include "Doomsayer", "Stand And Receive Your Judgment", "Tunguska" and "Full Imperial Collapse". I love the use of the acoustic guitars in the album as well. They give the album great depth. I think all of the solos are incendiary, and I am very impressed by the songwriting on this album. I usually do not like singing used like this in metal, but I actually do not mind it in this album. I find Darkest Hour to be the more heavy and brutal rival of Atreyu, so I was surprised when DH decided to step more into the mainstream on this album. If someone stole this album from me, I would probably track the guy down and beat the crap out of him, but not for him stealing the album from me, but for not supporting this amazing metal band!