Sound — 9
The move to a more guitar-driven rock was very, very risky, but I think Story Of The Year executed it amazingly. Dan's voice is just as good as it was on Page Avenue. Their is some screaming here, but it is brief, not much, and well done. Drums sound like Page Avenue. The hard rock beats, and fast-paced, intricate guitar solos can't hurt. Though the new sound is executed well, it is not perfect, because old fans of Story Of The Year may be left disappointed.
Lyrics — 9
Dan's voice is as amazing as ever, and his lyrics are amazing. This is classic Story Of The Year singing, with some screaming, but it is executed in such a way that it makes sense. Some fans of Page Avenue may think the screaming is a bit overdone, but I disagree. I love the lyrics on Stereo and even We Don't Care Anymore. The only problem with the lyrics other than the overdone screaming, is that they don't flow with the music as well as on the last album, but they are still pretty good.
Overall Impression — 9
In the Wake of Determination is one of the best albums that will be played on hard rock stations. Personally, this genre was becoming to grungy and a little stale to me, but this CD revived it with its Emo lyrics, fast punk-rock pace, and sometimes hard rock guitar sounds mixed into one, this is one of the best rock albums released in the past couple of years. Story of the year is right up there with Green Day, SOAD, and the Foo Fighters as a part of rock's elite.