Sound — 10
Well, the sound is phonomenal. This is their 2nd best album in my opinion, but it has the best sound and musicianship of any of their albums. It's a prog rock opera, and it sticks to prog rock the entire time. It does get a little metal in "Beyond this Life" and "Home," but it still remains primarily prog. The sound is great, Rudess is at prime form with his keys here. John Petrucci cranks out some of his best guitar work on this album. Great sound.
Lyrics — 10
The storyline of the opera is too hard to describe, but it is complex and intriguing. The lyrics reflect the storyline perfectly, they work quite well here. The best lyrical songs on the album are the final two, "The Spirit Carries On" and "Finally Free." "The Spirit Carries On" even incorporates a whole church choir arranged by Jordan Rudess, which just adds to the beauty of the lyrics.
Overall Impression — 10
Pure freakin' ownage, that's what DT delivers with this stunner of an album. Everything is amazing. The music is great, Labrie's voice is in top form, the lyrics are great, and the storyline is wholly unique and original. I love it how they even made it in true opera form, with scenes, acts, and characters. It's brilliant. Great album. The MVP here is Jordan Rudess, the new band member at the time of the recording of this CD. He is the best piano player I have ever heard and this album proves it. Great CD. While not as good as "Octavarium," this album is breathtaking.