Sound — 9
This is a pretty hefty disk, from the concept driving it, to the music. First of all, the concept is sort of a two-fer. It is about Johannes Kepler, and his theory of the planets emitting tones as they orbit. So its tells about how the Earth sings Mi Fa Mi, the major, and minor, and those stood for Misery, and Famine. Those two things are played out throughout Kepler's life, which leads to the second part of the concept. It goes through his childhood, and growing up, having his own family, and basically causing the same sort of pain on his family that his dad caused to his family. But enough about the concept. Onto the music. The music here is very good. There is lots and lots of programming, and synths, and guitars. They make good use of everything, especially the dual vocals that are going for most of the disk. You could describe the music as some sort of emo, or punk, especially the voal style. But it has lots of elements of prog. Whether there is very ethereal keyboard and guitar part stretching on for a few minutes after pounding riffs made your ear bleed the minute before. These guys REALLY know how to set the mood they are going for. A perfect example is on Pale Blue Dot. That song just makes you feel for whats going on in the cd. The only downside to the sound of this CD that I can think of is that the vocal style is to emo for my taste.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics on this disk are very cool. They set them up in such a way where they are clear enough to give you a good impression of what is happening, but vague enough to make you think. It takes some work to figure out what is being said when both vocalists get going, but thats what the lyric book is for. There is a good balance of having the vocals out front, but not over powering the music, and vice versa. They both compliment each other, and neither is to in your face, which probably says a lot for the production values.
Overall Impression — 9
As said earlier, this is a great CD. These guys took on a heck of a task even coming up with something this dense. Granted, the source material is something that actually happened, so they have history to go off of, but to make it into something coherent, much less a great disk is hard to do. A lot of work was put into making this something memorable, and it will be memorable the first listen through. It takes some time to really figure out what is going on, with the lyrics, and musically, but that is because there is so much there. The music has a bunch of stuff happening, at some points there is 3 guitars, playing different things, plus keyboards, plus two vocalists. It would have been easy to get carried away with parts like that and make them so crazy that the music doesn't make sense, but it does. Everything about this is a good cd. The only thing that I don't like about it as much as I could is the vocal style, but its not a bad thing, its just my preference. The vocalists constantly top themselves on each track.