Sound — 9
A giant step forward for the emo/indie band whose last album "The Room's Too Cold" in 2003 was more of an appetizer. For fans like me who've waited three years for another album, it was worth the wait. Enders' visionary 46 track saga spans three discs and tells the story of a boy, with an extremely overbaring father, growing up and leaving home. When he has his own kid, he swears to be nothing like his father, but eventually falls into the hole. Listen to it more than once, and make sure to listen with headphones. It's a whole different experience.
Lyrics — 10
Ace Enders is seriously one of the best singers of his genre. Not only can he write meaningful, and sometimes, inspiring lyrics. He conveys them with all of the emotion that they are supposed to instill. The song "Little Black Heart" 'It's my life. I might as well live it. Along with the bad times. Just happy to be living.'
Overall Impression — 10
Combine the impressive, full-on indie rock of the Mother, with the stripped down, blues feel of the Mechanic and the 'not-quite' rock-opera of the path and you get a concept album that takes you on an amazing journey into the psyche of a broken man. Akin to some of the concept albums of the '70s (now I'm not comparing The Early November to, say, Pink Floyd. But still it's a great album and worth a listen).