Sound — 8
I had heard about Hurt before actually seeing them play live (they were opening for Breaking Benjamin). My first impression of the band was that they were pretty good, but reminded me too much of a strange combination of Tool and Live. My friend and I both agreed that we would go check them out once we got back to my place. I downloaded both their albums, and started off by listening to Vol. I, which I listened to on the bus the next day. My first impression held up: a Tool-ish vein of origin (not that I'm saying that's bad), deep lyrics, etc. I recognized that three of the four songs they played were on this album: "Rapture", "Falls Apart", and "Danse Russe" (which was played with a 2-5 minute violin intro in the concert). This album didn't really drag me in like several other albums I constantly listen to, which was a bit disappointing. I still like it, but I pick and choose the songs I listen to now.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are a constant style: pain, anguish, hurt, heartache, etc. The lyrics, in other words, are okay. I've heard a good portion of them before, but there were some that surprised me. Rapture has that start-stop vibe, and the lyrics surprisingly call God out. It also talks about love, which is something in the song I tend to ignore. "Danse Russe" starts off by reminding me of one of those MIDI songs that pop up on websites. Lead singer J. Loren Wince sounds like he's singing while holding his nose, but the song quickly picks up before it ends, which is a good sign. "Unkind" sounds like it was written about Jay Gatsby from "The Great Gatsby" (you'll get what I'm saying if you read it), and it's a pretty good song with a pretty good intro.
Overall Impression — 8
As previously mentioned, I picked up both albums (Vol. I and II), and truthfully, I listen to Vol. II a lot more. This album is just loud and angry for the sake of it, and several songs sound like they have the same guitar riff (since everything is in Drop D tuning), and they never really get interesting (execpt "Danse Russe", which has something orginal). Overall, I would recommend Vol. II more than this, but it's a good album overall.