Sound — 10
This album has taken me on a journey over and over again. Every time I listen to it, I start to hear more layers of lyrics and music. I realize more and more the genious tapestry SOAD has weeved together for this album. It's definately metal, like their other stuff, but like Mezmerize, there are influences from different styles of music. Daron's layers of guitar fall together beautifully to contrast their harmonizing voices.
Lyrics — 8
Some lyrics, such as "Soldier Side" and "Holy Mountain" wowed me, some like "U-Fig" and "Attack" impressed me. The only song with somewhat questionable lyrics is "Vicinity of Obscenity." Most of the time, the lyrics are really good, and most of the songs which lyrics don't wow me, I usually don't understand. If I knew what "Vicinity Of Obscenity" was about, I'm sure I'd appreciate it more. Obviously, Serj Tankian is a more talented lyricist than Daron Malakian, but Daron's writing is good nonetheless.
Overall Impression — 10
The album as a whole is great. By far one of the best this year, probably explaining why it hit #1. If you've been anticipating this album, don't wait; it's amazing. Fans who didn't like Mezmerize probably won't find a deep bond with Hypnotize either. Daron once said that if SOAD constantly put out albums that sounded just like each other, there would be no point to putting out new albums at all.