Sound — 10
The album starts off with the dramatic 'Rising Force', right down from the ominous keyboards to instrumental tracks at the end of the album, there is plenty of creative (did I say creative? I meant genius!) 80s-esque heavy metal. Everything sounds really good together, not only are the ideas mixing together like a perfectly blended cocktail, but the shade of technicality really is the cherry on the cake. Malmsteen's fretwork lends some GREAT solos to this album.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are overall very complementary to the music and the vocals are performed very skilfully. Although the music is quite technical, the vocals being motivational and powerful are extremely effective being very motivational and soothing as well as very powerful giving the heavy bits a good kick.
Overall Impression — 9
This album should be an example and inspiration to every heavy metal musician out there. Not only are there so many great riffs, but the whole song-structure is executed masterfully and rendered very catchy too. Overall, it's plain terrific and it never gets old...my personal favourites are...well to be honest each song is as bold as bold as the next...there isn't a single track which isn't out of line.