Sound — 9
The sound has changed a little bit since "Disillusion," and "Thunder In The East." They switch to more of a pop metal sound, however; it shows they are able to master many different sounds. Akira Takasaki proves his talent on guitar, as he shreds at incomprehensible speeds.
Lyrics — 9
Minoru's English has improved since "Disillusion," and "Thunder in the East." In the song "Shadows of War/Ashes in the Sky," they express the corruption of government, and their wars in near perfect English. The single "Let it Go," appears to be based on a woman that may have left a member of the band, but heavily emphasizes on moving on. My overall impression from this and most other Loudness CDs are more of a question in my mind, "How can someone express themselves so well in a language that isn't even native to them?"
Overall Impression — 9
Unlike other albums, it is near impossible to compare them with anyone else on this one. I love the new expermental pop metal sound, but I do eventually miss their bone crunching, in your face metal from "Thunder in the East." The most impressive song of the album is without a doubt "Shadows of War/Ashes in the Sky", and their single "Let it Go." Akira Takasaki continues his mind blowing solos, which only seem to improve over time.