Sound — 10
First, I wanna point out the date. I'm reviewing this album on January 16th. I actually got the CD yesterday. The CD doesn't drop until this coming Tuesday. However, I did not illegally download this you cheapskates! I somehow received my preorder ahead of time, so I figured I'd get the first review in... Now for the cd: If you like Killswitch or similar bands (All That Remains perhaps?) then you already have probably gotten this or are planning on it. If you like any Jesse Leach fronted bands, same deal. If you fall into either of those brackets, you won't be dissapointed. It is what's expected. Good Adam D riffage? Check. Double Bass? Check. Catchy choruses? Check. This album is actually a bit more on the singing side vs. screaming. Musically, this is Adam and Jesse's most diverse offering. While it includes stereotypical metalcore-esque elements (which let me point out, it is metalcore at its finest) this album is also graced (no pun intended) with some acoustic, atmospheric, moody moments, such as the cowboy-styled "The Forgotten One" or the verses of songs like "Until the End of Days." Vocally, this album is heavily leaning towards the singing side of the spectrum, which is an impressive feat for a modern metal album. While Adam might be bangin out some heavy riffs, Jesse still finds a way to create an infectious melody over it. This is also great, as it is metal music that you can get your mom to listen to, but still rock out to with the dudes. I strongly hope that this will help bring metal music to the mainstream, and I could totally see this album doing it...but maybe I'm a dreamer. My only musical complaint is on some songs (specifically, "The End of Eternity") it can bounce from an atmospheric section to a slow, aggravated heavy section. While these parts allow for a break and a slow down on the album, they can sometimes get obnoxious. This is a matter of personal opinion though. End result: if you typically like the work of Adam D, Jesse Leach, or metalcore in general, you'll like it. Even if you don't, check it out, cuz you might still like it.
Lyrics — 10
If you've ever heard Jesse Leach, you know what you're getting. As usual, he continues the socially and religiously aware lyrics that he founded in Killswitch. He is skillfully able to invoke thought into the human condition without sounding preachy or taking a side towards any specific religion or social opinion. I'm definitely a fan. People need music with a message, and this is is a great way to start.
Overall Impression — 10
Win. Metalcore is clearly on the way out, but this is a great last farewell to the genre. While it is technically a metalcore album, it is so much more, and if this is where the movement is heading, I have no complaints. Top songs: Strength in numbers Fight for life Willing Where the spirit leads me Live in love Hymn of a broken man The forgotten one Hope remains If this album was stolen, I'd go out and buy not one but multiple more copies! I might buy another just to support the band. This is THE album of 2011. Jump on the bandwagon now before all your friends do.