Review Summary: This album is a clear indication that the band is improving, and it is actually pretty great. That is once or if you can get past the sometimes annoying vocals.
First off, let me just say that this isn't one of those "Hit or Miss" albums, it is one of those albums that have a few very catchy guitar riffs, intros, and everything in between. But then also a few very bland mediocre guitar riffs, intros, and everything in between that just do not necessarily stand out. Some critics would argue that the "annoying" vocals just drown out the music altogether. But beneath the sometimes annoying repetitive high pitched screams, lies potential.
Chelsea Grin is notorious for quantities of "unnecessary" breakdowns, and by the beginning of the first track on the album, Judgement, you may be saying "Oh dear," considering that the breakdown isn't anything special. But by the time that Alex begins to scream, a very catchy lead guitar riff stands out along with the combined high and low pitched screams. For an opening song, Judgement brings nothing special, but it sets the foundation for the next song, Desolation of Eden.
The song begins with a decent overall structure. At about 0:56 a pretty cool breakdown is played, one of the best breakdowns off the album. This breakdown leads to the buildup at about 1:25 which brings good energy to the song. The rest of the song is powerful, with some of the best vocals on the album. At 3:02 begins the first of many rememorable musical pieces on the album, with a catchy dark lead guitar riff that is accompanied by a great rhythm guitar piece.
False Sense Of Sanity begins with just an average but still powerful sound to it. There are many cool guitar riffs as well as breakdowns throughout the song, but nothing that really sets it aside from, well let's say, a "good" deathcore song.
The album picks up though as one of the most catchy musical pieces I have ever heard in any music genre is played at the beginning of Sonnet of the Wretched, accompanied by great vocals that chant, "This is the sonnet of the wretched.." etc until the intro dies down and high pitched screams bark and bark until they have almost become slightly annoying, but then stop as the overall pace of the song is slowed down. At this point, Alex's screams go back and fourth between highs and lows over the top of a well played guitar riff along with a cool beat that eventually leads to where the song slows pace even more, into *cough cough* a breakdown. The rest of the song is just great, and becomes even better at the end when that catchy musical piece from the intro plays once more along with the chant, "This is the sonnet of the wretched.." and so fourth, until the song ends leaving you saying WHOA.
Cheyne Stokes then comes on fast and intense and doesnt really slow down until after the awesome breakdown that begins at 0:35. The rest of the song is actually kind of bland, but still not bad. Compared to the original version of this song, the improvements are clear. This song starts out strong, but dies towards the second half. Enough said.
Here we go guys. The Human Condition. The intro in this song is freakin amazing, The double-bass is fast, the lead guitar riff is beautiful, the rhythm guitar is also great, creating just an amazing foundation for a great song. This whole song shows the true talent that this band does in fact have. The lead guitar as well as the breakdowns are interesting and never really go dull. The drumming in this song is also quite technical and interesting to listen to.
Elysium is one of the most melodic instrumental deathcore pieces I have ever heard. It is beautiful and also intense, a good build up for is what to come.
Recreant is not only probably the best song off of this album, but also one of the band's most well known songs. First off, the lyrics in this song are clearly angry, but not to the point of describing every detail in dismembering a mangled body and then eating it's rotting maggot infested fetus. The lyrics are catchy because I think that many of the listeners (like it or not) can relate to the feeling that is being described in this song. But aside from the lyrics, this song is just intense overall with a dark riff at 1:27 that adds a very sadistic feel to the song, which then leads into a beautiful melodic lead guitar riff. This is arguably the best song on the album, and for good reason.
The rest of the album is mediocre, not bad, but not great either. Wasteland is probably the most repetitive dull track on the album. Aside from that, it is an excellent album with many memorable melodies that are not as technical and fast as other bands in this genre but are still pretty catchy.