Sound — 10
From the amazing Pink Floyd-ish opener (The End), to the manic rock song it segues into (Dead!), all the way to the 13th track finale, My Chemical Romance develops a style so '70s/'80s and yet retains their own unique flare. Escaping from modern pop-punk/emo sounds, they draw up a Sgt. Peppers-esque view of the death of the patient. And they succeed with amazing results like the lead single "Welcome To The Black Parade" complete with a marching band, choir, and the Brian May-esque guitar playing.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics tell of the life and death of the Main Character, the Patient. He sits in a hospital bed and given two weeks to live in Dead!, and then reaches a point right before death with "Welcome". He then flashes back to moments in his life wondering how he'll be remembered. All the while, My Chemical Romance drifts back in forth from easy going songs to balls-to-the-walls rock songs creating a varied album yet still enjoyable. Liza Minelli joins in for "Mama" in MCR's best cabaret song since "Prison" of their "Three Cheers" album. "Sleep" is probably the hardest song they've ever done, with a powerful screaming bridge and a simple yet effective chorus of "Just sleep!". Then comes "Teenagers" the song about Gerard Way's fear of teenagers, and "Disenchanted" the soft rock song of the album and the perfect set-up for the finale. "Famous Last Words" opens with a muted guitar and a growling vocal. And then it erupts into a near five-minute long end to this epic album. Priceless. And the 14th hidden track is "Blood", possibly their funniest song to date.
Overall Impression — 10
It blows all of their 2006 competition out of the water, and still continues rocking very far into 2007. The classic feel is refreshing, even if you've never listened to Queen or Pink Floyd or any other classical bands, you know this album is something different from today's sounds from the first song alone. It's an amazing achievement, something they'll probably never be able to top. "Revenge" and "Bullets" their two previous efforts were a slaughterfest of emotions, dead corpses, Pacts with Devils, Vampires, and the collection of one thousand evil souls. And top it all off with an overly aggressive tone, and it's no where near the might of Black Parade's epic story, of a Patient, a hospital bed, a parade, the Teenagers, and of course the Patient's Lover topped off with a subdued aggression and classical expertise. Well done MCR.