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These guys keep getting better... - 92%

Xeper, May 7th, 2003

I'm not big on their debut, and haven't heard the second. In Search Of Truth was great, but this album blows it outta the water in my humble opinion. It's so much more powerful, far as production, riffing, and emotional content goes. As usual, the lyrics are very personal, and Tom Englund emotes this quite well in all the songs. The musicianship is very tight and well-produced as always, but the best part is that the keyboards aren't the loudest instrument on the album as has often been the case (mainly on ISOT, anyway). Sure, the keyboards are still there, but they're used in a more classy manner this time in my opinion, providing atmosphere (and one or two leads here and there), the sound of which is generally audible but not overbearing. The guitar finally is on an equal level, maybe a tad louder, and it's a good thing too, because this album has made me realize what an amazing guitar player Henrik Danhage is-while Englund does some guitar work too, I assume Danhage is the lead guitarist, which might explain why he has his own signature model made by Caparison Guitars. The solos are gorgeous and well-written, see songs like "I'm Sorry" and "Visions" (especially the latter...wow!) for proof of this. Riffs abound, all of which are heavy and crunchy, often complemented by fiery leads on top (see the shredding opener "The Great Deceiver") and syncopated interplay with the keyboardist. Their strongest effort yet, and I'm glad I picked it up. (Also, a brief note to those wondering about the bonus track: it's basically three songs from a previous album combined into long medley, tied together by studio stuff like the occasional guitar solo. Interesting for diehard fans I suppose, but if you're just getting into them or a casual fan, don't stress about hunting it down, as it's nothing mindblowing.)