I'm a fan so I'll spare you all the adjectives that I want to describe this band with. Love 'em. Been on the band wagon since 1997 and haven't looked back. The thing is each studio album takes me some time to grow to love. It's kind of weird. What at first seems a let down almost always turns out to be a keeper. I guess it's because I have heard so many songs live for so long that the recorded versions seem just a bit off. It usually goes away after a few listenings.
I have been playing By a Thread for a couple of weeks now and at first I thought it was good, but not great. I will say it is improving quickly to the point where I am really enjoying it now. In fact it might be my favorite album track for track since Life Before Insanity.
It grooves, it slams, it pummels, it jams, in a phase it is an "ass-kicking". Makes me really look forward to the Beacon run. Check it out.