Sound — 10
They have a more metal sound in this album, I was shocked and ignorant once I heard the first song. Was kind of disappointed in them for changing their sound. Now after reading the lyrics and really trying to figure out the reasonings behind each and every song I have came to realize that it is truly an emotionally filled album. I think by now we all know the story behind Ben leaving and the drama associated with it. If not I will break it down to the known facts that I am sure of. Ben lost the passion for what they have been fighting for all these years, there are many reasons that people claim to have for it, some reasonably believable and some just ridiculous, but for whatever reason he did what he had to do. It was the way he done it that made the band angry, locking himself in his room claiming to be working on material and then pretty much vanishing, forcing Fran to make up the slack. This was Abandon Your Friends, then again doing it for Holding a Wolf by the Ears, this time he didn't show up period and left no notice. That is how I interpreted the story and I have no hard feelings against Ben, one it's not my place to feel that way. But all in all they did a damn good job.
Lyrics — 8
As compared to the other albums, I feel it's a lot like Abandon Your Friends, they did an excellent job with Fran having to rush out lyrics if given the time they had on the rest of the albums they would be just as good. The lyrics themselves give off an angry vibe for me, I can literally feel all the words he spits. I feel like they weren't as clever as Too bad your beautiful or the Fiction We Live but well thought out with the time given.
Overall Impression — 10
This is definitely my favorite album. I own two copies of all their albums anyway one to listen to and one to keep. On this album I believe that the most impressive song was "On the Offensive" that's because after reading the lyrics and my growing curiosity made me do a little research about the song. Now knowing it has to do with Ben and the way he left and the drama behind it (I know a version of this story, but I cannot post it because I refuse to post anything I that I don't know for certain is true).