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I think they've learned their lesson. - 89%

Chratheostic17, February 6th, 2015

So this record was pretty much continuing where they left off from their second album, "The More Things Change..." except with a far less raw production. One of the only minor differences being certain changes in the vocal department. With this release, Rob Flynn chose to adapt to, dare I say a more metalcore inspired approach as the style was rapidly ascending to the mainstream, although he did this whilst still managing to combine it with his own original style.

This was also the band's first album with the presence of former Vio-Lence guitarist, Phil Demmel who you'd thought would have been responsible for the band's surge into melodic metal territory that wouldn't have been nearly as evident on any release before. This time around, the band also seemed far more technically advanced compared to other albums, which might not be much of an achievement considering the two albums before had been attempts to break into nu metal-infested mainstream waters. The solos were much longer and there were even cases of dual guitar solos which would have been a big ask for the band for when they first started out.

My only real complaint about this album which I can't simply bring myself to overlook would have to be the lyrics. The nu metal-styled ramblings which conspired with the predictable instrumentals of "The Burning Red" and "Supercharger" are the only elements that survived the stylistic shift. Unfortunately Rob Flynn's influence fell victim to Phil Anselmo's laughable tough guy demeanour that chose to degrade metal within 1992 that is mysteriously adored by many modern metal acts to this day. An example of this would be from "Seasons Wither":

"I'm gonna see you bleeding
face down in the dirt,
I'm gonna give you back what
you've taken with hurt, you coward,
I'm gonna spit right into your face,
in grace you'll be now more."

Apart from this piss poor lack of creativity vocal wise, I wouldn't see how any fans of the first two albums, who felt betrayed by what was the follow wouldn't be able to forgive the band for this album. A re-emergence of the controversial groove-infested riffs that are so frowned upon by thrash loyalists, but at the same time managed to build such a solid following, are noticeable right from the start to finish.