The music on this CD is more professional, more polished, and definitely more pummeling than the previous incarnation. But is that better?! Perhaps that depends on how you feel about the original.
I've poured over this album, and the re-release of When Forever Comes Crashing, non-stop since they were both released two days ago. In the opinion of this reviewer, WFCC desperately needed the face-lift. God knows the sound quality on that album was wretched and had to be overhauled- I couldn't even listen to it and enjoy it. But Petitioning an Empty Sky has always been great, no concerns with sound quality at all. The Saddest Day, Forsaken, Color Me Blood Red, the album is littered with classic Converge tracks. Are they improved on this album? Yes and no. Saddest Day re-mastered is unbelievable. That track just leaps off the CD and kicks your ass. However, in the case of Color Me Blood Red, I think the new version is worse- the guitar riffs that I've always loved in that song are almost completely eclipsed by the bass, drums, and vocals.
HOWEVER that's my only complaint about this CD. Would I buy it again? Oh heck yeah. I'd probably pay double just to add this beauty to my collection. The new interior liner notes are chock-full of awesome art by Aaron Turner of Isis, as well as an absolutely kick-ass slip cover, picturing the awesome red painted devil guy you probably saw at the top of this page.
As a bonus, the last song is an alternate version of Love As Arson. God what a fantastic track.
So the bottom line is this. Converge fans: buy this, but keep your original as well. I've been listening to Petitioning for so long I'm happy to have new versions to rock out to as well, and most Converge fans are likely to feel the same way.