Sound — 8
This is one of Death's later releases, the songwriting is much more melodic than many american Death metal bands but thats fine with me because thats the only kind of Death Metal I like sorry Cannibal Corpse. Very different sounding (guitar tone wise) than their other albums, mainly because Chuck used Washburns on this instead of the usual BC Rich Stealth. My only complaint is that many of the songs aren't as memorable as I would like but very solid songwriting and solo on the part of Chuck. I would give it a 4. 5 but I'll round down to 4.
Lyrics — 10
Chuck always wrote lyrics differently than his counterparts in other bands, they almost have a spiritual sense about them (nothing preachy though thank god), not anything that would annoy you mostly double meaning stuff. Not that I'm against christian music (I'm as much one as the next guy), but hearing "I love god" over and over again only shows they can't write lyrics if you get my meaning. Not all violent, in fact mostly nonviolent lyrics, almost poetic although I have to admit if you listen to this stuff for the singing you have serious problems.
Overall Impression — 8
Very impressive release from an american Death metal band. Death managed to succeed in a country who's underground was ruled by faceless copycats of Death (and bands from the same area) early raw sound. Not as good as SOP but awesome album in itself. Symbolic and Empty Words have to be my fav songs on here. Yet again 4.5.