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Different, but in a good way - 78%

darkrage6, June 4th, 2011

Yeah, I know I'm gonna get plenty of wide-eyed stares for this, but I honestly did enjoy this album despite the fact that it's about as far removed from old SS as you can get. This is certainly a very unique sounding album, aside from Melodic death metal, there's also alternative rock, nu metal, industrial metal, hard rock, metalcore, pop-metal and even some mild techno. Nathan's vocals are a complete 180 from Roland's as they're much cleaner and less harsh, but that dosen't make them bad, quite the contrary, they're outstanding and very well-done. Unfortunately Richard's harsher vocals are buried in the mix, which can be really distracting at times. The instrumentation is as good as ever, though the acoustic-electric riffs threw me for a loop at first, but I quickly got used to them.

The overall production is much more commercial (though still unmistakably metal) "Burn This City", "Black and Blue", "Revolution Baby" and the title track are among the heaviest songs on the album and the ones that sound closest to the SS of old, the former is one of the few songs where Richard is heard loud and clear (though the radio version edits his vocals). It's unfortunate that one of the best songs "Heart of Eve" isn't on the album (though Youtube has it thankfully). Songs like "Beauty and the Freak", "Turn It Up" and "Plans Are for People" on the other hand could've have very well been recorded by Avenged Sevenfold and no one would blink twice. "Turn It Up" with its catchy club-techno influences, sounds like something you'd hear at a rave. Most surprising is the ballad "Miles Apart" despite being made for radio, it's a heartfelt and well-done song where Nathan really shows off his vocal range, "Plans Are for People" has that Avenged sound I mentioned, especially during the chorus.

Overall this album is a pretty good listen (though I wish "Heart of Eve" was included on the album). The new sound takes a little getting used to I'll admit, but I like the change in direction overall. This album is good if you don't mind a little experimentation from SS, but if you're a diehard Roland fan, odds are you're not gonna be too fond of this one.

Favorite tracks: Burn This City, Turn It Up, We Rule the Night, Beauty and the Freak, Heart of Eve, Revolution Baby.