Sound — 10
This album really sets Thrice apart from the crowd of emo-core bands out there. Synthesizers, piano, rhodes, hammonds, glockenspiels, and even music boxes all play a big part in this album and really add to the overall effect of the album. The band has moved away from technical guitars and drums and has moved into much more solid songwriting. You won't be hearing as many flooring guitar parts as you've heard in the past albums, but it works out for the better in the total effect of the album. The songs are just as focused as their old stuff and Dustin is still screaming but the album is a much more artistic and varied piece of work than "Artist In The Ambulance" or "Identity Crisis." The overall quality of the sound is phenomenal. It was mixed very well. You can tell that they put a lot of work into getting the mixing perfect. If you're deeply attached to Thrice's first two albums and aren't willing to broaden your tastes you probably won't like this album as much. If you can listen to it with an open mind and let the songs emotion wash over you, you will realize that this is the best emo-core album to come out in years. When these guys rock you can tell they rock for a reason.
Lyrics — 10
There are common themes running throughout this album. Themes of imprisonment, redemption, human worth, and hope. The lead singer is quite obviously religous. "Image Of The Invisible" is obviously a reference to the Biblical idea that we are created in God's image. Christians will immediately recognize lines such as, "But all the world will hate us" and "The sea will give up it's dead" as being straight out of the Bible. In my opinion, "Image Of The Invisible" is a battle cry for people to cry out for justice because of the inherent worth in human beings. There isn't a single song that shows really weak lyrics. I think the lyrics in "Image Of The Invisible," "Between The End And Where We Lie," and "For Miles" to be the most profound lyrics I've heard in rock music for quite awhile. Dustin isn't singing about his hangover or his teenage angst or his problems with his girlfriend. He's singing about God and life and hope and love.
Overall Impression — 10
Unique is the best word for this album although there are others that also apply; stunning, epic, magnificent, artistic, profound. The album is amazingly unified and it is obvious that the order of tracks was very specificly chosen. I don't really know what else to say about it so go buy this album. Don't download it off of Kazaa because these guys deserve the money for the hard work they put into this album.