Mods, if it's really that irritating to have two threads on the same album, go ahead and merge them.
I really, really, really want to say that you buttholes were DEAD wrong on this, but...I need to take responsibility for diving right in and not reading before eating. If I had read Opeth or Tool in the other paragraph, (the latter I subsquently did) I probably wouldn't have been as motivated to listen to this tonight.
I mean, in his defense, Erik Wonder* is BY FAR a better guitar player and riff writer than Adam Jones on his best day. Some of this stuff is actually pretty catchy, with a brilliant eye for melody and pretty bitchin. As in drive down the highway with sunglasses and the roof down bitchin. I will also say this album gets somewhat better as it goes on, but meh.
So you know how Gamma Ray is derivative of Priest and Maiden and stuff? Well this is pretty much the Gamma Ray of the "Tool" and "Opeth" department. It's not really anything new, and at times it passes the greatness of it's predecessor, but the only way I can see anybody thinking this is avant-garde is if you are stuck in 1995 and you still think Tool and Faith No More are still the avant-garde. One of the things I did not like about Opeth is they play the same tempo over and over again. If you're a drummer, that can get on your nerves very fucking quickly. They do occasionally switch, but when they are, they are playing the "Third Eye" tempo. Only hearing two tempos over and over again is one of my quirky musical pet peeves.
I really want to say "If you really, really hate Tool and Opeth, stay the fuck away from this," but it is worth listening to at least once for the brilliant guitar work. And hey, David Lee Roth never came up with the line "I smell you in my shit."
But me, I can't really picture myself listening to this again.
*due to metal-archives faggotry
Addendum: Also, my back hurts.
Addednum 2: Yes "Pregnant Insect" sticks out like a sore thumb because it's fast and thrashy. It's also a good idea to make something like that toward the beginning of the album, to break up the monotony early.