With his fifth release, Tom Shear has put together a solid effort. This is a very good album, aside from two tracks. The album has not strayed too far from the tried and true A23 sound, with some slight departures on a track or two - the most notable being from "Madman's Dream".
This album opens with "Decades V2". This is a solid track that is a little reminiscent of "Failure". "Raw" is next. This is a very intense song with brooding lyrics, one of the best on Meta. "Sorry" and "Ghosts" follow. Both tracks sound similar, although "Ghosts" is a bit more emotional. These two stick to the traditional Assemblage 23 sound. "Binary" is the first single and the best track off of Meta. The intensity of the sound is tempered by Tom Shear's vocals. It is very obvious why this track was chosen as the single. The pace is completely slowed down with another excellent offering, "Damaged". "Madman's Dream" follows this and is the biggest departure, vocally, from any other A23 song. It is more than good enough to be on this album, though it is not the best track. I appreciate what he is trying to do here and it definitely works. The final three tracks fall short. They are not bad by any means, but are missing something.
Overall, this album is rather good and does not disappoint. Meta is one of the better releases of the year.