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The Second Coming Of Metallica? Hell Yea! - 99%

ihateyou, December 5th, 2003

The Art Of Balance is simply put one of the best albums I've ever heard. Everything about it is great. The best part about this album is the solos, man can Donais play.

Idle Hands - This song is one of the heaviest on the album. It has alot of death riffs and double bass. This song focuses mainly on being heavy. The solo is something that you would expect to find on a megadeth album. Very kick ass. 8/10

Thouhgts Without Words - Another heavy as hell song. This one has more thrash riffs and harmonized solos though. The chorus is almost sing along and is very memorable. There is also a good amount of shredding here, which is always good. The breakdown at the end kicks ass. 9/10

Destroyer Of Senses - Faster than the first two, and as a result more thrashy. It's simplistic in nature but doesn't really lose anything. There is a gut wrenching scream during the slow part. The only thing about this song is that it's a little repetitive. Probably the weakest song on here, and that says a lot. 6/10

Chasting Shade - An acoustic instrumental. It's very melodic and almost beautiful. A nice contrast to the sheer aggression of the first three songs. 7/10

Stepping Outside The Circle - Thrash, thrash, and more thrash. This is where the album starts to get amazing. So many riffs. There are alot of time changes too. Hell it even uses gang vocals. There is a really nice clean part too. Donais does some really nice soloing too. One of the best songs on this album. 10/10

The Art Of Balance - An epic ballad type song. Think a thrashier Cemetary Gates. This is where Brian Fair really shows his clean vocals. It's very emotional. It gets heavier and the riffs come out and so do Fair's brutal vocals. Then a clean part comes in only to then lead you into a great solo. A rare song for Shadows Fall, but just as good as the rest. 9/10

Mystery Of The Spirit - Another thrashy song. There is a lot of emphasis on the lead guitar in this song. There is even some black metalish vocals here, and not annoying Cradle Of Filth stuff. The lyrics in this song are really cool too. The epic power metal solo kicks ass too. 9/10

The Idiot Box - A heavy thrash song. The riffs are heavy as hell. The lyrics are angry in a political way, it's always good to hear someone pissed for a reason. The drumming is the highlight of this song. It ends with a cool breakdown. 9/10

Prelude To Disaster - The title says it all. It's another acoustic instrumental and it sets you up perfectly for what comes next. 7/10

A Fire In Babylon - Holy shit! The pinch harmonics in the beginning are crazy. This song is so epic, it's Shadows Fall's Master Of Puppets. There are clean, death, blackish, and shouted vocals and they all fit perfectly. There is so much complex shit going on here and it all fits. Even the bass is doing a counter melody at some points. When Fair says "A fire burns in Babylon!" it's pure greatness. The soloing is heavy at parts and melodic at others. It's an amazing power/thrash song. The best on the album. 10/10

Welcome To The Machine - A cover of Pink Floyd, that takes balls. Pink Floyd wrote some of the most complex songs ever. Donais and Bachand do a very good job of playing the original guitar part with a heavy part that goes with it. They even use a synth in this song. Shadows Fall using a synth who could have guessed that. The vocals are almost completly clean and use some harmonies. An excellent cover. 8.5/10

Overall this is a geat fucking album. The only reason it doesn't get 100 is that Master Of Puppets beats it. Everyone should own this.