Well, I'm on my 2nd listen and so far I'm not all that impressed.
Something has been lost in the way they write.
For starters, I can't get into Petrucci's lyrics, they are dull and borderlined cliche'd. I feel that I am more than qualified to make this statement as I have been a rabid DT fan since I&W was released and like every album except 6DOIT, which even that has a couple...well...one good song.
The hooks are gone, vocal melody is gone, boring vocal lines are here to stay. I'm sorry but their latest trend seems to be find a chunky rhythm part, jam on that and then have J.L. sing over the top in a monotonous key which only changes slightly. Listen to As I Am, Honor Thy Father, Dying soul, Name of God, they ALL lack any real vocal punch. The verses are boring as hell, sorry to say. I hate the fact that the songs are not as interesting as they used to be, I'm actually kind of annoyed with my purchase thus far. Being only my 2nd listen, I think it'll take a few more to find what i'm looking for in the album, but so far, it is a bunch of scale fragments just built to sound impressive, which they do, but the songs as a whole are weak. I think they have lost the edge and don't have the drive to create like they once did.
Sorry to pee on the parade float, I'm a fan despite the past 2 albums, but I think that they have lost touch with what made them great. They are trying to hard to make songs for air, or break their mold, something, I can't define it, but its gone.