Sound — 10
This is definately one of if not the best efforts from the band. The sound is a combination of Six Degrees and Octavarium, which is a very good thing. Here is my opinion of each track. 01. In The Presence Of Enemies, Part 1 - I have no idea why they split this song in half, but I'm not really complaining. Part 1 focuses on the instrumental part of the song. Very heavy and great solos from everyone. 02. Forsaken - a great, catchy song from the band. Beautiful piano work by Rudess, the intro reminds me of the exorcist. However, there's something about LaBrie's vocals in the chorus that turn me off. Still, a great catchy song. Amazing solo by Petrucci. 03. Constant Motion - one of my favorite DT songs ever. Amazing work from every bandmate. Portnoy sings as much if not more than LaBrie on this one. The songs about OCD, and it has a phenomanal solo from Petrucci, perhaps one of his best. My favorite part of the song is when Labrie's vocals go from side to side. It's a real head trip. 04. The Dark Eternal Night - heaviness aplenty here. The main riff is almost a clone of "In The Name Of God", but they change it enough to stay original. This has to be one of my favorite tracks on the album, but there are a few things that bug me. For one, the distorted vocals are corny. It would've been better to lay low on the distortion. Also, the riff for Petrucci's main solo isn't very good. Neither is his solo though, so it's a low-point. The random piano piece in it is priceless though, true musicianship. 05. Repentance - this track was actually a bit of a letdown for me. As it is a continuation of Portnoy's AA series, I was expecting it to be extremely fast, heavy, and furious. It starts off with a slightly altered riff taken from "This Dying Soul". It's definately the most mellow and soothing song on the album. Also, I think it takes entirely too long for the song to end. It just seems to drag on for 3 minutes with the exact same riff. 06. Prophets Of War - another one of my favorite tracks. It reminds me of "Never Enough" a lot, as it has a very upbeat, almost techno riff that starts it. The lyrics are very good, talking about how they're against the war right now. The coolest part of this track is that they invited a group of fans to sing the chants after the 2nd chorus. 07. The Ministry Of Lost Souls - an epic track in the truest sense. At 15 minutes long, it's quite a handful. It reminds me of "Endless Sacrifice", as it starts with the beautiful, acoustic verse, then has a catchy chorus, followed by an insane instrumental section. 08. In The Presence Of Enemies, Part 2 - I prefer this part of the first one. It has amazing lyrics of darkness and sin and how a man overcomes those desires. Many lyrics, all very great. The chorus is my favorite part, very dark, heavy, and downright catchy. Overall, the sound is great. My only real complaint is Portnoy's bass drum. It seems a lot more punchy than it usually is. Still, a monumental album.
Lyrics — 10
These are great lyrics from DT. They are easily interpreted and appeal to everyone. They speak of darkness, temptation, sin, evil, and war. This could also be one of Labrie's best vocal performances on record. His vocals blend perfectly with the guitar and keys. He hits a lot of impressive high notes on this album. He even has a bit of a growl that sounds like it came from the "Awake" album at a few moments during songs.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this is a phenomenal album. Top notch and exactly what you'd expect from DT. Highlights of this album would be "Constant Motion", "Prophets Of War", and "In The Presence Of My Enemies, Part 2." A lot of people complained about Octavarium, which I personally enjoyed thoroughly. If you were one of those people, this album should more than suit your needs for good DT music. A 10 out of 10 and one of the best progressive albums I've heard in a while.