My thoughts on relisten are as follows:
First two tracks are basically one track to introduce the album like I said earlier. Nothing really changes here. The third track is actually a lot less dull than I originally thought, with the good use of cleans as contrast, and it’s not nearly as chuggy and bad as the fourth track until after the speech section is over, where it really comes to a standstill for about 2 and a half minutes. Rays of Light, the fourth track, is absolute uninspired garbage. There’s absolutely no movement in this track whatsoever and it’s really just an unfortunate continuation of the stillness of the later end of the third track. As I thought before, Tangram is just a sappy, musical cheap shot. A disgrace of a track that doesn’t belong in any album that wants to be taken seriously. Then there’s the weird, glitch like opening for One Final Step, which seems to be the sound personification of the album switching from shit mode to god mode. I think the exact moment when the tone in this album totally switches is at about 3:20 in this track, when suddenly you have an epic heavy metal-riff that really catches you off guard that transitions to a brief moment of stasis, which then goes to an absolutely beautiful slow moving guitar solo with a violin in the background. This should sound cheesy as hell, but I can’t help but love ever second of this. The solo continues on in a much louder, epic soundscape. I think what makes it such a powerful moment is that there hadn’t been a single reference to an epic guitar solo throughout the entire previous tracks in the album. So it’s just jarring and wakes you the fuck up. The track then closes out with this and fades away, going into a acoustic guitar section to start the next track, which is really just a prep for track 8. Admittedly, the first two minutes of track 8 are going pretty cheese mode with those chord progressions, but then when the piano arpeggio kicks in with the clean vocals, leading up to the emotional epic sound death vocal section with that same arpeggio, it sounds pretty damn awesome. This then alternates between the soft and loud sections, which ends in another one of those heavy metal solos (which I really think are the best parts of this album). The last track was on second visit, much more cheesecore than I had initially thought, though definitely not on the same level as Tangram.
So after basically describing the entire album, what’s my verdict? Overall, I don’t think this was that great of an album. While it does have some very good high points, it’s low points are really low, which means I can really only give it an average rating. I really wish it would’ve had more heavy metal elements and less chugging death metal and corny piano sections. But the belief that if you add piano it automatically makes people feel emotional is still very prevalent in music, and until that is extinguished (which might be never) I’m going to have to deal with this shit.