Let's start with the obvious shall we? First, P.O.D. is not the type of band I would purposely choose to review and secondly, this album is several months old. Usually I'd stay from an album like this for those two reasons...or even one of those reasons. But, since this album "fell" into my lap and I have a friend who raves on and on about P.O.D. I decided to just toss it in and see what is what. I will say that pound for pound there are few "rap" metal bands as good as P.O.D.(Payable on Death). It's hard to fathom that these guys have been at it since 1992 (man, that makes me feel old-as if I needed another reason!) and, to be fair, they have evolved somewhat from a simple rap/nu metal band into something more unique and heavy (if this album is to be any indication that is). On this, their 8th album (and the first I've heard all the way through truthfully!) the band teamed back up with producer Howard Benson and, from what I've heard from fan's of the band, tried to recapture some of the power and intensity of their early work. Never one to shy away from their Christian faith tracks like "Higher" and "I Am" question this world we live in with all of it's hate, despair and the feeling of going it alone. Obviously the group are pointing upward, but the real question is how does the album come across right? Well, album opener "Eyez" (that features a cameo from Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta), does a quick gut-punch with it's HEAVY take on nu metal. brings forth this hard Nu-metal sound that demands attention from the first listen. The next track is a bit of a wash. "Murdered Love" fell flat, and honestly, "Higher" risked the same fate. It was almost way too much nu metal for me but, just like "Lost in Forever," the album's first single, the lyrics really make it worth while. This is especially true on "Lost in Forever". It's easy enough to get caught up in the number as it's both crunchy and catchy. Musically it's also closer to alternative metal/ heavy radio rock/metal then plain nu metal. Rap metal (rock really) is up next with "West Coast Rock Steady". Sen Dog of Cyprus Hill guests on the number. It's all about west coast love and all about trying to be Rage Against The Machine. At least that is better then trying to be Limp Bizkit. And so it goes. "Murdered Love" is one part heavy, crushing metal and the other part message. I suppose though that about sums up P.O.D. in a nutshell. From "Eyez" to the emotional and powerful closing number, "I Am", P.O.D. lay it all out there. It's metal with a message. While I had thought that the band had moved a bit on from their Christian message it does seem louder then ever and it's kind of refreshing in a way. The band obviously cares about ti's fans and the youth of America today and have found a way to offer up bone crushing metal that has a motivational message behind it. It might not be completely my thing (I found the tracks to be either really good or just so-so), but fans should eat this album up.