One of the complaints from fans of the band over recent years has been the subtle change in Mike Hranica's vocals. His voice has most certainly changed over the years due to touring and recording such a large amount of albums. But when it comes to deathcore vocals that is to be expected - screaming down a microphone for a living will do some damage to your vocal chords; as a band ages in this genre, the voice must also change. When it comes to '8:18' there is a small difference in the vocals, but they are still all kinds of good - regardless of the fact they seem to be less heavy. This is perfectly shown with opening track 'Gloom', that starts off with a creepy synth intro, with a repeating melody throughout. It is a gloriously heavy song - probably the heaviest on the album - and it shows all the doubters that Hranica's voice can still hold his own in a very crowded market.
However, this album also goes great lengths to show that they are also still one of the best bands when it comes to combining heavy deathcore vocals with clean vocals - delivered with the helping hand of Jeremy DePoyster. This is shown perfectly with my favorite song on the album 'Sailor's Prayer'. This song is the best of the both worlds, full of shouty, screamo vocals and wonderfully solid clean vocals, that are placed perfectly to accompany and improve everything about this song. It is truly an absolutely solid song that shows why this band have lasted five studio albums. DePoyster makes even more of an impression with 'Care More', an eerily slow and thoughtful song that features DePoyster entirely. With his clean vocals leading the way, it shows the world the rather impressive voice this man has.
If you enjoyed 'Dead Throne' you will have no problems with this album, as it is pretty much the same deal. While this album will more than likely piss off fans who wanted to see the band go back to their heaviest days, it is still a very solid release from a band who just seem to be incapable of releasing a bad album.