Sound — 10
First time this band used to have an intro song, with parts you could remember from the first track from their debut album Revelations Of The Unsung known as The Great Escape. Their overall sound has changed a bit from their first record. It's clearer then RotU and they have used a lot more solo-guitar playing also as background-guitar. They have accomplished many different ways of playing the guitar to one record. The songs float right into each other, so the outro of one song just starts with the beginning of the new one which is also a great idea to make the whole record sound way better. They also used 100% of the two guitars. One palys a big intro solo and the other one just comes up with a great back up guitar riff. The drumming part now is more fluent with the guitars. One guitar always plays like the drums. The voice has only changed a single bit, because now you can really feel the intense and the anger Dennis Miller shouts out! With all their different tracks on this album the last one The Final Cut is a really really heavy step forward to a new dimension for TAO. Not only because it has got a piano in it, no, also because they used this well sounding last track as their outro. The piano fades out and you can only hear a slight wind in the background of it all.
Lyrics — 8
Just like their first record RotU the lyrics change from track to track and the meaning of it as well. Once you have this questioning lyric like "If you only saw it all, would your words even change?" (The Yearning) and on the other hand you have this confusing lyrics like "I'm the master of the lies" (One Last Thrill). The lyrics are going upwards and downwards with their intense and their great meaning. There are tracks where you just think that they don't have anything to do with the whole record it self which is called "Embrace The Gutter" which is a strange name for a record but reflects the whole Image of them. This time the lyrics have been held short, not much to say, but those short lines which are said are really powerful. They focused a lot more on the guitars and their real strength.
Overall Impression — 9
Whenever you listen to this record you think your right in the middle of a concert standing next to the speakers. It's loud, it's underrated and it kicks ass! I never have listened to another band that great. That powerful with no changing on the whole record. 11 tracks fluently filled with rage, anger and hate. As you might notice they have changed a bit with all their guitar effects and you can see and listen that they put a lot more effort on fitting the whole setup together. The sound gets clearer and the voice also gets a little bit more understandable than the "Revelations Of The Unsung" Voice Dennis Miller pushed us straight to our face.