Sound — 10
A lot of people criticise The Faint's synth-driven sounds, arguing that they're making a novelty of themselves. Did these people remember how synth music sounded when it first became popular? No 80's act ever sounded like this. No act ever sounded like The Faint. Danse Macabre is a set of 9 dark synth-rock tracks that sound clean and dirty at the same time, music to dance or die to. Some of the best tracks here are "Glass Danse," "Let The Poision Spill From Your Throat," and "Total Job."
Lyrics — 8
The Faint not also have a great sound, but probably some of the most thought-provoking lyrics of most any modern band I've heard. The big gem here is arguably The Conductor - a very poetic description of the swaying hands of a symphonic conductor. Other great songs include "Ballad Of A Paralysed Citizen" (on the victim of a simple prank) and "Total Job" (on criminals roaming the streets because they can afford a good lawyer). The vocals on most every track have loads of effects on them, which fits perfectly with the music, but is an annoyance sometimes. On a few tracks it's hard to hear their fantastic lyrics through the distortions. Also, the opening track, "Agenda Suicide," I am sorry to say, just sorta sucks in this area. The lyrics can be summed up as "I Hate My Job". Whoo. Also, the song's vocals are completely ruined by a scream session thrown in for no reason at the end of the track that really doesn't fit well with The Faint's style atall, and really shouldn't be there. Hard to see why this is the album's big opener.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, Danse Macabre is an excellent album, would (and do) recommend it to anyone and everyone. This is a very dark album, which may steer some people clear, but forget that! The songs here are crafted with the care of a scribe. In your headphones, these songs make you think. Over your speakers, these songs make you danse. The Faint are no cheesy retro act... they are The Faint.