Now that I'm really into this cd I wanted to revisit this review. Strangely enough I think it's one of their best cd's and one of my favorite cd's of 2011. I think had I reviewed it after 2 or 3 listens I would have agreed with most of your observations but after 10 or so spins some songs really grew on me.
Weird thing is while I always prefer faster/thrashier music I love the slower songs on here. Powerless, Beyond the Grave & Clockwork are not only my 3 favorite tracks on this cd, they 3 of my 20 favorite songs of 2011.
The harmonizing vocals on Clockwork are awesome. I'm really curious if they can pull them off live actually. Kinda Fear Factory-ish song with it's only flaw being the middle ambient part is a little long.
Beyond the Grave is Dead Skin Mask-ish with really cool simplified riffs. It is kinda commercial but I like it. I'll probably get tired of it at some point but I think it fits the cd perfectly where they put it and wouls be cool live.
Powerless is one of my favorite Chimaira songs every penned. I had a debate earlier this year about Protest the Hero lyrics and was made aware a song I was ragging on was about a girl dying of cancer. This is a very simiar topic and lyrically is so much more up my alley. Very dark and emotional and puts you in that place much more that the PTH song in my opinion.
I could never really get into The Infection at all. Even after seeing them live the songs just didn't compel me or translate well live. I like this cd start to finish, every song with the only weaker track being Scapegoat. Can't wait to see them live!