Sound — 10
First off, I'd like to say that the sound on this album is simply amazing. Every song had an epic feel to it. It reminds me of earlier Metallica albums where you can tell that each song is just as important and great sounding as the others. The guitar-work is definately the highlight of this band. Matt and Jon are amazing guitarists. Simple.
Lyrics — 6
Lyrics on some songs were great while on some others they were rather average. Destroyer of Senses and The Art of Balance have the best lyrics by far. 2 songs on the album are instrumental only. I haven't payed enough attention to the lyrics though, because in some parts it definately gets tosses to the side to allow for fancy guitar-work.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall I really like this album. The most impressive songs would be Destroyer Of Senses, Casting Shade, Thoughts Without Words and Art Of Balance. This is the first Shadows Fall album I've listened to and I must say that I'm rather impressed. I usually listen to Metallica, Tool, Slipknot or Godsmack and this album certaintly falls under the "Metallica" category when it comes to which of those Shadows Fall sounds more like.