Sound — 10
Ice Nine Kills' debut album is a remarkable release from an indie band who's trying to capitalize on the emo/post hardcore/screamo movement. Unlike most of the other screamo/post hardcore bands, this band does not over use the typical screamo vocals, in fact you will only hear the screams faintly in the intros and bridges and unlike some of the other post hardcore bands, the screaming vocals are actually pretty good and actually enhances the song instead of drowning it in a sea of hardcore massacre. Another strength of this album lies in the actual music itself; like many of the other hardcore/post hardcore bands, this band has an extremely talented group of musicians behind their music and this truly raises their music to the next level. Every single song is laced with intricately written guitar parts and the drumming on this album is suburb. You'll hear a lot of note picking intertwined with heavy-hitting power chords and you'll definitely appreciate the drumming on this album, very technical. Another reason why I enjoy this album so much is because of the musical arrangement in which this band used to produce this CD, the sound quality is excellent and the piano interlude "Chapter 2" and the acoustic song "What I really learned in Study Hall" really slows down the rush you get from listening to some of their more heavier tracks. Another plus to this album is the fact that these guys were able to create such a uniquely written album that none of the songs are monotonous in any way and you'll definitely be listening to this album for really long time before it gets old. The punk rock/ska influences of their past are highlighted throughout the breakdown in many of their songs and yes, the short guitar solos in a handful of their songs are very sweet.
Lyrics — 9
Lyrically, I found this album to be one of the better written album when compared to much of the popular post hardocore bands out there today. They have a lot of good metaphors in their songs and the meaning behind the actual songs itself really inspires one to take some time to listen to this album over and over again to catch every single one of their poetically written lines. What really stood out in this album is some of the voyeuristic (sexualized) lyrics which they used in songs such as I Do and I Don't, "crashing parties just to get our drinks for free/you would touch your skirt and tell me you had nothing on underneath." The rest of the other songs are written very well and I love the fact that the lyrics seems to be written about certain personal experiences that affected Jeremy and Spence. And the dual vocals also adds a nice depth to their songs, the clean vocals are amazing and suites the bands very well and the screaming vocals are not over used as mentioned earlier and is kind of reminiscent of the screaming vocals used in bands such as Funeral for a Friend and Senses Fail.
Overall Impression — 10
If I were to compare this band to some of the more mainstream post hardcore bands then I would compare them to Senses Fail (Let It Enfold You album) and Funeral For A Friend (7 Ways To Scream Your Name album) however I think their clean vocals really separates them from a lot of the other mainstream bands because Spence sings very well and Jeremy has a pretty good hardcore scream that really intensifies their songs. The album art is also very cool and I would definitely purchase this album once again if I were to lose it but the album is a little pricey (around $10-$16). Other than that, this album is pretty flawless and I must say that it's worth every single penny.