Sound — 10
For their newest opus, Haste the Day take their patented melodic-to-ultra-heavy sound to the next level. With the addition of new lead guitarist Scotty, the technical ability of the guitar playing is definitely bumped up a few notches, and with new drummer Guiseppe behind the skins, the rhythm section has never been tighter. AOTWK contains some of the more delicious and brutal breakdowns of HTD's career ("The Un-Manifest"), to some of their most progressive and melodic work ("White as Snow").
Lyrics — 10
On the special edition of AOTWK, at the end of the live version of "Blue 42," Stephen explains the reason why Haste the Day was and still is a band: to share the love of Jesus Christ with the world. That fact is evident throughout the imagery employed in the lyrics of this album, which are top notch and flow so well with the overall feel of the cd. I have always thought that Stephen has such a better range vocally than Jimmy had, as well as the ability for some amazing clean vocals, and for AOTWK Stephen has only gotten better. With the departure of Brennan, the duties of singing the harmonies have fallen onto the only original member of the band left, bassist Mike Murphy, and he does a spectacular job.
Overall Impression — 10
I believe this CD stands out as the best of Haste the Day's career, and is definitely at the top of the list of best heavy music cd's of the year for me. I love everything about it, from the apparent skill of each musician to the powerful message of the lyrics. It's hard for me to pick stand out tracks, because they all are so good, but for a sick, but for all you metal head/breakdown kids, check out "The Un-Manifest," for those of you that want an addicting chorus to be stuck in your head for days, check out "Dog like Vultures," and to catch Haste the Day at their most progressive, give "White as Snow" a listen.