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I’ve not heard a great deal of SYL other than this album, but hopefully that means that this review is less biased and I don’t consider it fair to review an album based on other previous albums by the band if it can be helped.
In brief this album has a very well produced and commercial feel to it, but this may be a deterrent to some people, as will other slightly ‘nu’ elements such as the riffs and lyrical content (as pointed out by some others here). But the ‘nu’ elements of this album don’t really ‘smell’ as much as the bands that people might negatively compare SYL’s sound to, though the lyrics do occasionally sound like childish fits that can annoy but it’s hardly as bad as it gets, and this sort of angst is preferable to the sort of melancholic self-pity that you get these days. This album is also a bit one-dimensional but has a few lighter tracks to add some more flavour to it.
Tracks like Shitstorm are a good example this album at full force and like other songs here, Devin Townsend incorporates a lot of shouting that’s not in time with the music in order to create this sort of maniacal spontaneity.
Love has this memorable riff and some nice but basic chord progressions, on songs such as Possession there are also some catchy and more mid-paced riffs, the E major chord in this song sounding particularly pleasing to the ears. You’ll also notice the female choruses employed here as well. I wouldn’t say this for all female voices but it unintentionally makes this album a little bit sexy. The timbre of their voices is just right to compliment the grooves and riffs of the band.
My personal favourite has to be Two Weeks which is actually the light acoustic number. The E major chord is again used here but it sounds so nice, and with the extra layered guitars and effects going on in the background it makes me think of calmly floating about in space. Lovely.
Due to the thick but simple sound this album might tire for some, but for the catchy first few listens, the key tracks are well worth checking out.