The Book of Souls: individual album judgement by yours truly

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Yes, that.

The Apparition isn’t as good as Empire, but it’s still a 10. Empire is only a 10 because we’re using this scale. It’s off the charts otherwise.
 

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
If Eternity Should Fail - 9
Speed of Light - 8
The Great Unknown - 6
The Red and the Black - 8
When The River Runs Deep - 7
The Book of Souls - 10

Death or Glory -
7
Shadows of the Valley - 8
Tears of a Clown - 7
The Man of Sorrows - 6
Empire of the Clouds - 8

Total score - 85/110. Or roughly 77% for what it's worth.

Good to hear the boys enjoying themselves again. Some really fun, uplifting moments here, far better production than TFF (though still not perfect) and great performances all round. As I said somewhere before, the albums main fault is its own high quality, the best songs are so good they make everything else sound much weaker by comparison.
 

Jer

Fuddy Buddy
Just went through this in the individual song threads.

If Eternity Should Fail - 8/10 >
Speed Of Light - 7/10 >
The Great Unknown - 7/10 >
The Red And The Black - 8/10 >
When The River Runs Deep - 8/10 >
The Book Of Souls - 9/10 >
Death Or Glory - 7/10 >
Shadows Of The Valley - 7/10 >
Tears Of A Clown - 7/10 >
The Man Of Sorrows - 7/10 >
Empire Of The Clouds - 9/10 >

Average: 7.6/10

A very strong album, with nearly half the tracks being great to excellent, and the rest being solidly good. The first disc is definitely stronger than the second one, but disc 2 is still no slouch.

This is the second best reunion-era album to date, and along with AMOLAD is the only other reunion-era album with no songs rated below a 7.

Bruce really strains to hit the notes in a lot of places here, which is concerning. I hope this can be chalked up to the tumor that was in his throat while he was recording, or to Shirley just not demanding enough takes to get it right. But if this is the beginning of Bruce's range starting to seriously fade, I hope the band will adjust the melodies down to accommodate this going forward so Bruce can continue to sound great.

(Album rankings by person post >)
 
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Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Bruce really strains to hit the notes in a lot of places here, which is concerning. I hope this can be chalked up to the tumor that was in his throat while he was recording, or to Shirley just not demanding enough takes to get it right. But if this is the beginning of Bruce's range starting to seriously fade, I hope the band will adjust the melodies down to accommodate this going forward so Bruce can continue to sound great.
I dunno, I like what you'd consider "straining". It doesn't feel like that to me, I think he's fantastic here.
 

Jer

Fuddy Buddy
I dunno, I like what you'd consider "straining". It doesn't feel like that to me, I think he's fantastic here.
Yeah, but you think Blaze sounds fantastic on The X Factor when he's all over the place, so that doesn't surprise me.

When Bruce can't nail the note and you can hear the strain for him to just get near the note and then push really hard to slide up to the actual frequency, it's not a good sound. If it only happened once or twice on a couple of really high notes that'd be one thing, but there are whole sections of songs where he's doing this on half the notes or more. Not good.

As I said, I hope this was a temporary thing related to his health. If not, then they should think about downtuning or writing the melodies to be lower so they're within his comfortable range.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Yeah, but you think Blaze sounds fantastic on The X Factor when he's all over the place, so that doesn't surprise me.
Yeah, but you’re not a Silicon Messiah fan either, right? That album sounds fantastic vocally.
 

Jer

Fuddy Buddy
Yeah, but you’re not a Silicon Messiah fan either, right? That album sounds fantastic vocally.
I haven't listened to that enough to render a judgment. I think I've listened to about 4 songs off of that one 1 or 2 times and wasn't grabbed enough to listen to more.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
When Bruce can't nail the note and you can hear the strain for him to just get near the note and then push really hard to slide up to the actual frequency, it's not a good sound. If it only happened once or twice on a couple of really high notes that'd be one thing, but there are whole sections of songs where he's doing this on half the notes or more. Not good.
Well said, well said. Especially When the River suffers immensely. Brought the grade down a lot to me, but again you are mild with the ranking when it comes to that imo: you're calling out the problem but you give an 8(!) for the worst Bruce studio album recording in his career. This is really so much more unpleasant to hear than the so often criticized "rough" vocals on No Prayer and Fear of the Dark.
 
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Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I haven't listened to that enough to render a judgment. I think I've listened to about 4 songs off of that one 1 or 2 times and wasn't grabbed enough to listen to more.
You haven't given his solo albums a chance. You might have missed the best songs on that debut. His vocals are at least as good on the second and third album. The third is his best performance ever imo. Production wise and songwriting wise very good as well. Too little discussed on this forum unfortunately. There is too often only praise for the debut and second album.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
You haven't given his solo albums a chance. You might have missed the best songs on that debut. His vocals are at least as good on the second and third album. The third is his best performance ever imo. Production wise and songwriting wise very good as well. Too little discussed on this forum unfortunately. There is too often only praise for the debut and second album.
Personally, I've heard the first four and loved Silicon Messiah and Tenth Dimension upon first listen. Blood & Belief is more of a mixed bag and The Man Who Would Not Die was... iffy. Nothing was terrible though and I'm sure I'll like certain songs more upon further listens. But that being said I do think his vocals are just a tad bit better on SM and TD. He sounds awesome on every album I've heard, though; a personal favorite vocalist of mine certainly.
 

Jer

Fuddy Buddy
Well said, well said. Especially When the River suffers immensely.
Aside from the very opening lines, I didn't think it was that bad in that particular song. Nothing like the bridge in "Empire Of The Clouds" or the pre-chorus in "The Great Unknown", for example...
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
Well, these are my grades for TBOS album:

If Eternity Should Fail - 9/10
Speed Of Light - 9/10
The Great Unknown - 7/10
The Red And The Black - 8/10
When The River Runs Deep - 6/10
The Book Of Souls - 10/10

Death Or Glory - 9/10
Shadows Of The Valley - 10/10
Tears Of A Clown - 9/10
The Man Of Sorrows - 5/10
Empire Of The Clouds - 10/10
-------------------------------------------
Average album score: 8,36
 
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