Sound — 7
The production on this album is clearer, and more concise than on The Dead Walk. The drums are tight and punchy, the guitar is sludgy, but tight, and the vocals are grating, but defined. Overall, everything is heard much better than on the previous effort, which is a good thing. It's new and clear, but still gives a legitimate view of their down and dirty sound. As for the music, the band's style has grown, and while I hate using this term, it is definitely more mature than anything they've done. While their breakdowns haven't changed that much, they're much more fitting of the songs, and not just there to be there. If you're a listener of Meshuggah, you'll hear some open notes that remind you of ObZen, and you'll think they're doing a reprise of 'Bleed' in one particular song. Another surprising element that makes an appearance on Continent is melody. I'm not going to go into a song by song breakdown, because that kind of ruins the element of surprise, but lets just say that the ending of the album is totally unexpected, especially considering a name like 'The Behemoth'. The sound of Continent blends what makes the band the Acacia Strain with a grown-up, more approachable sense of song-writing. In general, I'll give this a 7, but compared to usual Acacia Strain, it'd be an 8.
Lyrics — 7
If you're a fan of the band, you know that Vincent's writing is very laughable. This doesn't really change on Continent. The album's golden lyric is, Lie in the corner and pray to the god of I Don't Give a f--k, so you should know what to expect. Shots at Lambgoat, comparisons of abuse to Lifetime movies, and talk of the world being a toilet are just glimpses at the album's brilliance. Laughable? Yes. Awesome? Yes. As for the actual vocals, I can only say this: Vincent sounds inhuman. I honestly don't know how to describe them, except that there's a lasting grate / screech to them. They seem a bit deeper, and all the more monstrous, so you'll just have to hear them for yourself.
Overall Impression — 7
I'm very impressed. I think that some of it has to do with me being insanely excited over this CD, and almost pissing myself when I heard that it had leaked. I've been waiting forever for new material, and the band has delivered. However, I already feel myself getting a little bit bored with it, and it hasn't already been 24 hours since I first heard it. If you're a fan, download it. If you're not, check out the songs on their MySpace, and see how you like it. A download can't hurt, but listen to it before you go out and buy it. I'll definitely be buying this CD, along with some of their hilarious merch. Overall, the album is a welcome addition to my music library, and it's a dawn of a new day for the band. They've taken the first step to becoming a more open band, and it looks like their new direction is for the best.