Sound — 8
The first thing I noticed on this CD that differed from previous Staind albums were the solos. Much of the CD sounds like Staind, as it should, but the solos help add a new element to the overall sound. They are not overused or overdone, so the current fanbase won't feel this is a totally new band, but speckled here and there at a welcome pace. Whereas 14 Shades Of Gray sounded like 2nd rate rehash of Break The Cycle, this album is refreshing and breathes new life into a band that some folks were forgetting. It may lack the heavy crunch of some older tracks by them, especially songs off Torment and Dysfunction, but it allows them to move forward and branch out in a new direction, so they aren't dragged down by the dying nu-metal generation.
Lyrics — 10
Typical Aaron Lewis lyrics here, though they aren't as angry as with Dysfunction, depressing as with BTC, or as redundant as with FSOG. Some songs sound a bit redundant, but it allows the album to flow quite nicely. In Run Away he uses a few new pitches and draws some words out, and his voice fluctuates nicely on Right Here. The parts where he let's loose and screams are few and far between, but he still has the range to nail them. Of course the ballads, which they seem to excel at as a band, are top notch.
Overall Impression — 10
After hearing Break The Cycle, one of the albums in my top 10 favorites, I was giddy when 14 Shades Of Gray was released only two years later. I found it to be dissapointing, and thought it lacked what made its predecessors great. So when I picked up Chapter V I was hesitant. This album however is very refreshing, though at the same time generically Staind. It has a mixed variety of song compositions, and gets progressively better with each listen. I enjoy every song on the CD, but especially like Run Away, Right Here, Schizophrenic Conversations, and Everything Changes. I would never allow my CD to be stolen, but knowing that it is solid from start to finish, I may fork out the money again if it ever was.