Sound — 9
The sound of the CD is pretty amazing, ranging from the bruteiful solos to the guttural vocals or the drum work. It's all thoroughly skilled and layed out. Guitar: My favorite thing first, the riffs and solos are amazing, some of the best I may have heard. Blazing speed, sexy sweeps, and high technicality. They also have a talent of creating solos that sound good even with extreme fast speeds, so it doesn't sound like they're just trying to shred for the sake of shredding. 'Pearls Before Swines' solos, riffs, everything is just so brilliant, beautiful, and yet, still can maintain a sense of heaviness. I'll be honest though, the sound/tone they use throughout their solos is indeed something I'm very enticed by. It gives a sense of epicness and technicality which fits right into the music. To be honest, some riffs almost made me think of old 8 bit video games in some parts, which I liked too. 'Like Jasper and Carnelian's solo has a jazzy feel even and also reaches a more classical sound and is definitely one of the higher up ranker songs when it comes to guitar work on this album. There are even some fantastic instrumentals on the album. Drums n' Bass: I'm not the best at realizing impressive bass and drum work usually and to be honest, I feel bass is almost unnoticeable on much of the album, or maybe I'm just missing it. The drum work is solid and definitely has impressive times along with impressive timing and definitely is fit in with the music excellently to keep it all going smoothly.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics of the album are pretty impressive and on par with the musicianship. Very intricate and meaningful. The album is a concept album (I think) and from what I've read, has a Christian influence, not that it's straight out Christian, but it tries to suggest that you start to take in everything around you more and just think about some stuff. If I interpret right also, it's also has a concept of how amazing it is to believe that one person, thing, whatever God is, could create everything that is, and was. Even though I myself am not Christian, the lyrics are wonderful and blow away many lyrics people write nowadays. If nothing else, they can even be interpreted in other ways, even as just a whole different story in itself. Vocals: Now, I'm not the biggest fan of most screaming and growling still, but I'm growing into it more though. Now, the vocals on the album are basically ALL screaming, growling, and such variants, no clean vocals. This does disappoint me because a mixture of screams, growls, and clean vocals and really emphasize points amazingly. Nonetheless, the variations of vocals are still impressive. Multiple types of growls and screams are audible throughout and they are also understandable unlike many heavier bands. The only other disappointment is that the mastering on vocals doesn't feel the best, it's balanced right but the quality on them seems kinda iffy sometimes. Nonetheless, nothing that isn't easily look passed.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, it's am amazing album if it's a genre you like. The guitar skill, the vocals, the lyrics, everything is amazing. The variety ranging from tech metal sounding solos to jazz to classic rock. If you wanna give it a preview, I suggest checking out either 'Pearls Before Swine' or 'Like Jasper and Carnelian' as those are two of the best songs all around on the album. The only thing keeping it from a 10 for me is the lack of some clean vocals for more variety.