If I'm going to compare the new stuff toThe Cold Vein (arguably the best rap album ever recorded), I have to give it a 2 - it doesn't even come close. Judging it on its own merits (which is reasonably considering just how important El-P was to the last album, I give it a 3. It's a solid "underground" record. El-P's absence is obvious throughout but Vast and Vordul's rhymes and their combined flow make it an enjoyable listen.
I feel very similar to how I felt after the recent Binary Star EP. It's a reclamation, for sure, but it isn't quite up to the standard of their older material. Hopefully the full length will set aside doubts here, but until then, this'll do the trick.