Sound — 8
Haste the Day's Fifth (someone previous was mistaken) metalcore album, Dreamer, had been taken down the path of Pressure the Hinges for a while, then span off into a new and fresh approach. Through the loss of Jason Barnes, the guitarwork took more toward melody than lead. More clean moments are found in songs such as "An Adult Tree", "Labrynth", and the acoustic track, "Autumn" as well in others. The solos are minimal upon this one, though they still partain to catchy riffs. The heaviness does increase some what on this album as well. Overall, I dig the sound and gives a great impression, though I feel it is a step back from Pressure.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are more powerful than pressure (68 hit's home with me) in my opinion. They tend to go more into detail about despair and feeling, tending to make a small scene epic as opposed to try to apply an entire story to a song as other bands do. The boys do a terrific job summing up the thoughts and emotions of those full of transgressions. Stephen Keeche's vocals have been recorded differently with this album and he experiments with some lows, higher-noted screams, and singing arrangements in the songs (did I hear an inhale in "68"? ). I find them more unique than Pressure, though they do not measure up to Jimmy Ryan's (ex-Haste the day, Trenches) raspy shrieks. Stephen's cleans are also fantastic; sweet and powerful, though at times, harsh and strong (in a great way). Brennan does his fine job of singing as he's been doing since the beginning, though this album, his voice seems to be lower and warmer. His voice is a great contrast to the mayhem as it was always, though I found it more catchy, more powerful in his youthful days.
Overall Impression — 8
This album was definitely worth the money (yes I payed, no one does that anymore I guess) but as I said before, a step back. Stephen attempted to take the band to a different area, a different vision of his, but remain in the same genre (as U0's Spencer Chamberlain after the departure of Dallas Taylor), and he did well at it. It's different though the same, nonetheless epic, but I fell in love with Jimmy's scream. But I have Trenches and old HTD albums for that. Keech isn't a plus or a minus, he's just a fork in the road to a new part in the same forest. The best songs of the album would be Babylon, 68, An Adult Tree, and Sons of the Fallen Nation (in that order). Keep at it dudes.