Sound — 10
So if you've been following SOTY since their release you'll have noticed that their guitars have been getting more cranked, more bassier, their drums have been goin from the really highpitch snare to a more full sound, and Dan Marsala has gotten to be an amazing singer/screamer/songwriter. I'd have to say this is their best CD just because the songs are so damn catchy and that now I can actually hear guitars better than sound effects. These dudes used to be signed to Maverick, then to a major label and now "The Black Swan" was released on Epitaph, a independent label that sparks some of the best out there today. The guitars on this album range from beautiful lullaby-like ("Terrified") to throw down hardcore ("Choose Your Fate") and big ("Message To The World") this CD is all over the place. Everyone will love it.
Lyrics — 10
Dan Marsala is an amaizng song writer, he can deliver that emotional message without flaw. Marsala delivers that type of emotion through soaring vocals which have been polished since "In The Wake Of Determination" to hardcore roar-like screams, Dan does it all. The lyrics aren't forced at all, which is unique due to the fact of how emotional and powerful his lyrics are.
Overall Impression — 10
This CD is amazing. It's a beautiful mix of bipolarness, tender soft spots switchinf to wicked hardcore riffs, sweet messages to a lover to overall hatred. All the songs on this album are impressive, it's a CD you can listen to over and over and still get blown away from it. The only down point is that the screaming is limited to a couple songs because Dan is so good at what he does and some guitar parts just need the screams in it. If it were stolen I'd find the dude and kill him. Or just go buy another one, this needs to be in your collection now.