As I massive Wu fan I have been eagerly anticipating the return of the clan for some time. However, I have had mixed feelings towards some of the clan's more recent offerings, and was hoping that the RZA could step things up a level with the new album. I wasn't hoping for a return to the mid 90s Wu Tang sound - those days have passed and it's just not possible to come up with a new Wu Tang Forever or 36 Chambers that wouldn't sound contrived. I was just hoping that the RZA would come from his heart with the new album, with some real Wu Tang killa bees tracks.
Overall I think the album is great. There are a number of stand-out tracks, and the album has a definitely Wu feel that was lacking from other releases like Iron Flag. No, it's not 36 Chambers, but it feels like a Wu Tang album. I though the production was excellent. I have heard that Raek and Ghost have come out and said they aren't happy with the final product, but I really enjoyed the feel of the album. It's smoldering, sinister, dark, and yet fresh and clean at the same time. It's has a very atmospheric, almost cinematic feel, and as an album it hangs together well. Ok, so it's rightly not going to be remembered as the best Wu Tang album of all time, but if this does prove to be the last outing for the clan in its entirety (minus ODB of course, RIP), then it is a worthy final chapter in the history of the world's greatest ever rap group. Wu Tang Forever!