Sound — 8
RED were always a band which brought together hard guitars with orchestra to bring more power to their music. And this 15-tracks conceptual album is the band's most impressive experiment in bringing this 2 parts together. With heavy guitar riffs, aggressive bass and orchestra RED find a way how to make their album sound way more powerful and deep. It is overloaded with switching styles and tempos both inside album and tracks. There are still enough place for piano ballads like "Of These Chains" and light experiments like "Take Me Over" and "The Ever," instrumental intro and outro, while the main part is a pure hard and aggressive energy. They still sound "not that hard," but their will and desire to show the dark part is obvious. It's fantastic experience to hear hard tracks "Impostor" and "Gravity Lies." But there are still questions about pretty little role of guitars in guitar oriented band. There are cool riffs and guitars and bass on their places... But orchestra is actually the main source of album's tune.
Lyrics — 8
It seems like Michael Barnes decided to show the whole range of his vocal switching from a classic hard rock vocal to opera alike one, from scream to falsetto. He isn't the best screaming singer and not the falsetto one. But this contrast really works well for most songs in album. "Shadow and Soul" and "Gravity Lies" are the best example tracks for it. But still middle-range is the range he feels himself more comfortable and it is hard not to hear. Lyrics this time are more epic than ever. They are not that deep as they are trying to look like. And, unfortunately, they are hard to be understood correct without all these stories behind the album concept. But when a song needs them as a additional atmosphere source, they are just in the place they should be.
Overall Impression — 8
This time RED showed their best to brought to live maybe their best album since "End of Silence." It's first advantage, that RED album is sound complex and smooth again. It is no a set of individual songs, but a story with a good interrelation. Songs are really different and by the end become boring in someways. But this album has it's own strong "trademark." For singles RED are still choosing songs which has only a little piece of end album power. But even they can show the way different parts live inside this album. But still the final impression depends on whether listener likes "red way" or not.