Sound — 10
The sound is obviously heavy, dark metal, the only song that truly take a break from that are "Vacant" and the instrumental "Stream Of Consciousness." This was the first DT album I ever owned, and boy was I glad I did. I love metal, and this album led me straight into the rest of DT, and I haven't looked back since. The sound is great, lots of crunchy guitars, crazy drums, and occasionaly interesting keys. A great, dark sound.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics, for the most part, are good. "As I am" has lyrics about resistance and independence, "This Dying Soul" is part of the multi-album suite about the 12 steps of AA, "Endless Sacrifice" deals with living a rockstar life away from your family and how it tears you, and "In The Name Of God" deals with using your belief to justify murder. My only nag on the lyrics, and which I heavily downgrade for, is the profanity. DT never swear, and for some reason they felt they needed to swear here. There's only three or four, but still. "As I am" and the overly dark "Honor Thy Father" suffer. "As I am" absolutely did not need it, I could think of a perfect replacement for the word that isn't even a bad word, and "Honor Thy Father" is just too dark, lashing out at an angry father. The latter has of course a great riff and the best drums on the album, but still it's too dark. Without the language, please.
Overall Impression — 9
01. As I Am - good way to start off, sounds a lot like Metallica. Could've gone without the bad word. 02. This Dying Soul - begin the long songs! Here's a continuation of "The Glass Prison" and while it doesn't beat the prison, it still rocks. Great song. 03. Endless Sacrifice - still remains my favorite ever since I heard this disc. Starts off like a power ballad, ends with a crazy jam fest. The drum break at 8:02 amazes me every time I hear it. 04. Honor Thy Father - great metal riffs, astounding drums, but the overly dark, harsh lyrics bring this one down. This same problem happened with "Never Enough" on "Octavarium." Also, without the swearing, please. 05. Vacant - a nice, calm, serene break from the madness. 06. Stream Of Conciousness - good instrumental, too long. The instrumentation is great, but it drags on too long. 07. In The Name Of God - great song. Follows in the footsteps of "The Great Debate" off of "The Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" as a hot-button politcal song. Nice riff, great piano ending. Overall, great album. Not DT's best, but it still rocks. After all, it is DT.