Sound — 10
This is Fear Factory's sixth release, not counting the Concrete CD. All Fear Factory listeners can agree that the band's sound has matured more and more over the years with each release, but this CD has taken it to a new level. Unlike previous albums, this CD does not rely so heavily on the synchronization of guitars and drum. This CD is mainly composed of guitar driven melodies. That's not to say that Fear Factory's trademark sound is not present here. In fact, I'd say that since it's not used throughout every song, it makes it seem even cooler when the song cuts to that loud boom. Some songs travel into territory that long time Fear Factory fans never expected to see from them. Two prime examples of this are "New Promise" and "Echo Of My Scream." Other songs stick more religiously to Fear Factory's usual sound, namely "Transgression," "Spinal Compression," and "Moment Of Impact." These songs stick out as especially badass because of what I said earlier about guitar driven melodies reigning dominant, making the usual sound stick out more. This is definitely not Fear Factory's norm, it's an experimental cd through and through. I like the direction this is going in very much, and for variety alone I'd say this is Fear Factory's best CD.
Lyrics — 8
I love Fear Factory, but they've never been too great with lyrics. However, with this CD they completely ditched the lame "Man Vs. Machine" get up, and they've written real lyrics about real things. The songs "New Promise" and "Echo Of My Scream" are prime examples of how much the lyrics have evolved on this CD. Although they still leave a little to be desired, I'd say the lyrics on this CD are quite good, considering all the other crap that's out there these days.
Overall Impression — 10
I'd say this is definitely one of the best albums that the year has seen so far. The highlights of this CD are "Transgression," "Contagion," "New Promise," "I Will Follow," and "Moment Of Impact." "I Will Follow" is a cover of a U2 song, and it's catchy as hell. If it was lost or stolen, I'd definitely go buy it again. It's worth every penny. If you buy this CD at Best Buy, there's a bonus track on it called "Empire" that's totally badass.