Sound — 10
The vocalists did a tremendous job in this album. The clean vocalist improved his voice dramatically. Before, in "To Keep Us Safe" the album's clean vocalist Matteo Botticini sounded (in my opinion) VERY whiney and somewhat annoying throughout the entire album. In this album, it is quite different. The second the vocals kick in on the first track ("Anima") of this album you hear a strong, "epic," sounding reincarnation of the vocalist that was the annoying, whiney vocalist from "To Keep Us Safe." Now, onto the new scream vocalist.
The new scream vocalist (Daniele Nelli, previously from a band called Tasters) brings a new intensity to this band that drives the new UTD sound through "We Are All Sinners." The lows are incredible and hard hitting and the highs are intense and blood pumping to listen to. In other words, Daniele was a huge positive addition to the band that brought UTD's sound to a new level of brutality. Next, onto the guitars and other instruments.
The guitars made a ballsy drop from Dropped D (or possibly Dropped C, whatever they were playing in on "To Keep Us Safe") to Dropped A. This alone brought the sound of "We Are All Sinners" to a new intensity in itself. As for the guitar work, it is a refreshing mix of djent-like and metalcore riffs combined throughout the album. They keep it fast paced, but also simplistic at the same time. They even have a couple songs (e.g. "City of Sin") that have more of a "rock" sound vs. A "metalcore" sound which was nice to hear because it kept the album feeling fresh no matter how many times I listened to it. They also have a slower song at the end of the album called "The Encounter" which was another nice surprise keeping the album fresh with every listen. Overall though, they of course have some synth scattered throughout the album but they also have some very unique sounds that aren't very common for a metal band like horns and dubstep-like sounds as well which was nice. The horns make the albums breakdowns sound surprisingly heavier! Overall, I love the sound of this new album and anyone with a taste for heavy music in low dropped tunings powerful vocals (both clean and scream) will take a liking for this new Upon This Dawning.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics throughout the album are very dark overall. I mean, the album is called "We Are All Sinners" so that's to be expected. The choruses are VERY catchy and the versus are intense throughout most all of the album. The lyrics fit the album title and the music very well and drive the new idea, "Hey, we're Upon This Dawning and our balls have dropped through the floor" with the darkness of the lyrics and the brutality of the guitar work in the Dropped A (and at times Dropped G# I believe) tuning.
One thing I will say that is a ever so slight downside to this album is that at times the screamer screams so low and shoves so many words into a few seconds of time that it can sound a tiny bit muddy here and there. But, it still sounds great, just makes it a little harder to sing along if that's what you're into. But, the choruses and 90% of the screaming other than that is easily understood.
Overall, very dark lyrics to match the heavy guitar work. But, let me point out that it doesn't make you feel sad inside to listen to. It's really good pump-up music because of the great job the clean vocalist did at making the choruses sound so catchy and hard-hitting. Loved it!
Overall Impression — 9
I mentioned a bit earlier about how it compared to their last album; the vocalists sound extremely strong, the guitars sound way more intense and the lyrics are dark but they pump you up they don't make you sad listening to it. It's more of an angry album with dark lyrics, not a depressing album (if that makes sense to you readers.) So, huge improvement over their last album. As for comparing them to other artists that is hard for me to do. I would definitely say there is a bit of Motionless In White influence in the sense that they have a couple songs that are very unique sounding and those unique songs sound like something Motionless would do off of their "Infamous" album. They second to last track "The Encounter" reminds me of Bring Me The Horizon's "Suicide Season." I wouldn't say that they copied BMTH by any means, the guitar work is similar though and the songs end up going in different directions from each other as you get into it more. Other than that I am not too sure who else I might compare this album to, very original sounding. Very good listen. I highly recommend this album!