It's getting harder to deny that these big-selling Californians are a
real metal band. Pop-punk and metalcore leanings long behind them,
their sixth full-length -- following up 2010's chart-topping
Nightmare -- aims for full-on trad power-metal mythopoeia.
Whether they pull it off is another question: Momentum, groove and
chops aren't their strong suits. But the über-gothic
stained-glass-window metal of "Requiem" and attempt at
"Orgasmatron"-style evil-incarnate narration in "Coming Home" are
certainly ambitious. Closing epic "Acid Rain" could almost pass
for a Gn'R Use Your Illusion outtake.