I think I prefer this album over its successor, although the band somewhat sounds like a one trick pony here. Some excellent musicianship (the legendary Cynic rhythm section in top form), and Dobles is an amazing soloist with a very dynamic and well-thought out approach. This album has a sort of "special" feel to it, and really has its own unique sound.
While listening to this I see why people say the vocals can be a turn-off. They kind of drag the album down for me. I'm hovering around a 3.5-4 rating, leaning towards the first, but every time I say I will give it a 3.5 a amazing instrumental or solo appears and changes my mind. If I would have enjoyed the vocals more this would have been an easy 4.
3.5 for now with strong potential of 4 if the vocals grow on me.This Message Edited On 12.31.08
Loving this atm. I'd never imagine listening to a whole album filled with female vocals but I think I just found that album. These kind of soothing vocals fit perfectly with the prog and metal fusion. Having half of Cynic as rhythm section doesn't hurt either. Very close to 4.5