A lot of influences heard on here, but yet, doesn't every band have their influences? A 5-piece here spewing out a mixture of symphonic melodic death metal with power metal tendencies. The synthesizers didn't out weigh the music. In fact, I thought when rhythm nation came up far lacking innovative riff-writing, they incorporated the awesome atmosphere augmenting those not so amazing guitar licks. Definitely a better mixing than prior releases not to mention the production quality. I think that this way didn't get the higher credit that it deserved. I suppose that the sort of change in style here ousted fans making it harder to appreciate an experimenting band they've become.
Actually, I was quite impressed with every song because they all seemed to be well orchestrated and amazingly thought out. The guitars are in heavy crunch tone with lower tuning to make the songs especially "Sixpounder" more brutal with Alexi doing his job with his screaming alongside backup vocals. Where songs that seemed to fail, those synthesizers augmented the music seeming to come in there quite diligently. The solos were mad wicked as was in past work achievements. Even the synthesizers made it way more melodic and right on cue with the guitars. There were actual songs that began with them and were consistently in the background even during the vocals.
The band mainly in the guitar department really delivered making the music more tolerable not to mention downright thick! Alexi's solos shined in every respect and yet are still amazing compared to past works. They simply dominate, showing true talent from his techniques as well as diversity. The music is what is most captivating here. Everything that you hear here blows away past and future albums, way impressive sounds that go alongside the vocals here, not extraordinary tempo changes, just everything seemed to take on a heavier sound mixed with those melodic synthesizers.
This album does deserve a higher rating from what I've seen. Again, fans are lacking in the total appreciation in the creativity that was put forth on this album. In my view, I think it's their best album. The main reason is not only production quality, but the vocals, the guitars and the synthesizers were a total abomination to the eardrums. Give this band credit for putting out some terrific music from start to finish. They really took those 2 genres and made them blend in nicely musically speaking. The aggression is still there and the creations dived forth in a new creation. Make sure to YouTube "Sixpounder" and you'll hear one of my favorite Children of Bodom songs ever!