Sound — 10
Hot damn. For anyone who enjoyed Periphery's first full length album, "Periphery", this album is a huge step up, or at least in my opinion, and here's why! First of all, let's be honest, lots and lots of metal fans out there love an eerie, atmospheric intro or build up track to an album! It helps set a mood for the album and gives you an idea of how the rest of the album is going to follow on. The track in question on this album is "Muramasa", and is certainly one for my favourites! It is a song in itself of course, and not strictly an introduction, but the start of it certainly has that epic synthetic build up that adds tension and atmosphere. Brilliant song, that flows fantastically well throughout itself and into the next track! For anyone reading this who counts themselves as a fan of the combination of metal and synthesisers/keyboards... You're in for a treat! There are tons of loops behind the instrumental sections that almost seem to mimic the guitars, especially behind any reverb as hell lead parts! Something I should certainly comment on is the mixing and overall production of this album! Which can be simply summed up with, "Wow". The guitars retain their heaviness yet are as clear as day when trying to work out the notes. The vocals are brilliantly performed and mixed with the other instruments, so that they're all at a nice equal sounding volume. Amazingly well produced and performed album I must say, 10/10 here!
Lyrics — 9
I can't really comment on the lyrics as I don't know any just yet, however they flow beautifully with th music, whatever they are! You can work out the odd passage here and there, such as "can you silence your opinion of the...", which is enough for me, as I like an album that you have to listen to once or twice to get the lyrics and passages down by memory! Speaking of singer skills, I instantly rate 9/10! Great vocalist, with a brilliant voice when harsh or clean! Live and studio, he can pull it off and deliver a great performance, in which you can hear the emotion and effort put into it! I give 9 instead of 10 however because as much as it's fantastic, I prefer (personally), slightly more melodic death metal style of vocals! But if you're more into djent, then your problems won't exist here!
Overall Impression — 9
It certainly compares to the last album and in my opinion, surpasses it technically, emotionally, instrumentally, etc etc... The guitar and bass parts as just as hugely complicated and inspiring, with brilliant simplistic grooves between the insanely complex tapping sections! The drums are just what they need to be! Not over progressive nor under! They fit the patterns of the music fantastically and bring a nice feel to it! Much easier and nicer to listen to than blast beats behind some angry brutal death metal! Vocals are just as wonderful as the first album, even though a different vocalist! Lots of nice echoey clean parts over the choruses and bridges, with insanely well pulled off harsh sections over some of the verses and other bridges! Great vocalist! So far, my favourite songs from the album have to be "Muramasa", "Ji" and "Have A Blast"! They all seem to perfectly blend atmospheric, clean, almost tranquil sounding parts with the harsh, deep, chugging parts without leaving a confused expression on your face, only a smile! There's absolutely nothing I hate about this album, it's just not as high up as some of my all time favourites, but it's definitely getting there already! I love pretty much everything! Cool artwork, brilliant production, crazy guitar solos, fair price too! If it were stolen or loss, I'd certainly buy it again! Well worth the money you pay! 10 for a nifty folding case and bonus tracks! Highly recommend his! Definitely considering it an album of the year for me! Have fun djenting!