If, like me, you are coming at this from the angle of being familiar with Russel and Mike's work with Symphony X and Dream Theater respectively, then prepare yourself for big disappointment. Frankly this is a career low for both of these guys. I'm not familiar with the other guys in the band, but after listening to this record I don't care. This music is deeply average heavy rock/metal. There's nothing interesting about nay of it. Portnoys drumming is just stock. Yes it's good, but no moments worth mentioning. Russel Allen, in my opinion is seriously over-doing the gravel in his voice to the point where it's ridiculous. The production is typical of the modern metal sound, which means it has a tendency to really annoy, and damage the ears with it's overload of frequencies (and I DO like loud music, I'm not a dinosaur).
I can normally allow less-than-amazing lyrics, but these guys are really scraping the barrel with their lyrics and subject matter in general. 'Psychosane'? Come on, guys! And when by track for they attempt a ballad for 'balance', I can take no more. Fans of completely stock aggro-metal may rate this album, but when two of the band members have released albums such as V the New Mythology Suite
, Images and Words
, Live On Earth (2CDs + DVD)
or Bridge Across Forever
, one has to ask what personal satisfaction they got out of this mess?
This is metal by numbers for an undiscerning audience.