Sound — 8
Well, even though this album sort of strayed from the general sound that Megadeth was used to putting out; this album still proved to be another decent one. After Marty Friedman's leave, Al Pitrelli took over the lead guitar department; and he never really seemed to cut it in my opinion. Some classic riffage here (as usual) but for some odd reason a lot of the riffage seems quite half-assed and oversimplified, especially for Mustaine. However, the sound itself is quite refined and the instruments have a generally sharp tonal quality to them all. Dave's vocals suffer a little (inevitably) but hey, he was never a great singer anyways. On the plus side (for me anyways), some of the rifs and licks sound very familiar because of their Metallica-era roots that are reminiscent of tunes like "The Call Of Ktulu."
Lyrics — 8
Well, Mustaine pulled out some pretty cool lyrics for this one; but touched a little more on the soft side; writing lyrics tha have much more to do with lost/unrequited love than the usual political stuff that he bacame synonymous with. However, they proved to be some really cool tunes and show you yet another different side of Mustaine, particularly after the "Risk" album (which if you ask me was appropriately titled). Of course, the actual vocals aren't spectacular but still get the job done in my opinion. All in all, a decent effort from Mustaine in general.
Overall Impression — 8
Well, this doesn't come anywhere close to a Marty Friedman-era album but it's still a really cool addition to a 'Deth fan's aresenal. It beats the hell out of "Risk" but still doesn't even match up to "The System Has Failed;" so it's pretty well in-between for me. My favourites are "1000 Times Goodbye", "Burning Bridges", "Promises", "Recipe For Hate... Warhorse" & "Dread And The Fugitive Mind". I must give honourable mentions to "When" and "Return To Hangar". In fact, the concept behind that particular tune is really awesome because it's literally a return to the storyline for Rust In Peace's "Hangar 18," it's just too bad that it doesn't stack up nearly as well as the original. Overall a decent album but I guess losing it (as usual for me) would just mean a new replacement.