without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
I'm pretty sure we all can agree that the fundamental flaw in metalcore is that pretty much every band sounds the same. As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, All that Remains, they all sound like variants of the same template; up tempo Gothenburg riffs, vocalists that pull every hat trick out of their asses, mechanical production, cliche triplet, quadruplet, sextuplet riffs, and breakdowns that sound like they're ripped straight from Far Beyond Driven and Vulgar Display of Power. All in all, this album isn't terrible, it just lacks the cohesion and originality for me to give it an "A".
The majority of the album plods along peppy, upbeat Gothenburg and triplet riffs. The lead work and solos are run of the mill Iron Maiden worship with some of the flair of the Amott Brothers. Shannon Lucas demonstrates his prowess for frantic rolls and blasts along with a nice control over what it is a heavily groove-orientated wankfest. As with the majority of metalcore, the bass is just there following the same basic progression as the guitars. Mr. Labonte has a fairly versatile voice, bellowing gutturals and grunts that resemble Phil Anselmo on Far Beyond Driven and The Great Southern Trendkill, high shrieks that sound like they belong on a sub-par black metal album, and clean sections that went through shit tons of chorus effects and pitch correction.
The standout tracks would be the opener "This Calling" and the climax "Six". Both open up with a barrage of blasts and tremolo riffs before settling into user friendly, mid-pace, verse-chorus-verse structure.
Since this essentially a more more mechanical version of "Alive or Just Breathing" (considering Adam Dutkiewicz is the producer, it's not all that surprising), I would only pay about $5-$7 for this bad boy. But since I have friends who a liberal when it comes to sharing cds, I don't really need to worry about pissing away cash.