If you’re discovering this album somehow without having heard their first album, well… you’re essentially going to be hearing a different band. The production on this album is really good; the guitar tones remind me a lot of Slipknot’s album, “Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses” in that they’re raw and earthy; not compressed and digitally rendered. The band is a lot less technical on this album and much more straightforward in their delivery. Unfortunately, while I do dig the vocals, the atonal screaming the whole time gets kind of old with me these days. I’d love to hear much more dynamic usage of vocals (see: Periphery, Cilice, TesseracT, Textures) but that’s something I have a growing opinion of these days with bands like this.
Honestly, that’s my only critique of this album in searching for something I’d like to hear done differently! Oh, and the album is really short – just like their last one. I think it clocks in at just over 30 minutes or so. I gave this album 4 stars because there isn’t as high of a replay value in this as their first album had for me. I’ll definitely listen to it, but it’ll have to be from time-to-time. Their last album was way more technical in nature with a lot of breakdowns and a lot of polymetric passages. Not so with this album; they really do pull off sounding like seasoned veterans with their instruments.
In my humble opinion, for their next album, I think they should find the balance between, “A Higher Place” and, The New Reign” all while taking a chance by throwing in MUCH more dynamic vocals! Harmonies, singing, and screaming over a combination of the technical nature of their last album with the songwriting and melody from this album… that would make for one heck of a contender in this genre, I think. Anyway, definitely grab this album. The only thing you’ll be disappointed in is how quickly the album ends!