Thanks for the glowing review, Steve! You made some interesting observations too.
Musical complexity - you mentioned that the complexity factor is lower than Deathanity. Believe it or not, at least from my perspective of learning and playing this stuff, it sure doesn't feel easier! What I think happened here is that the song writing was better and the complexities no longer hit you over the head, but are more subtle now. I liken that effect to bands like Rush and Yes (less so with Yes) that wrote very complex music, but balanced with more melody and smoother transitions between parts, they produced music that is complex, yet memorable and they made a HUGE career out of it.
Drum parts - Yes, I mentioned that the drum parts were very challenging and gave John a run for his money (but he produced the goods). However, I don't want it to sound like it was limited to John. Learning and practicing this material KICKED MY BUTT and continues to do so. I found some of it to be the most difficult stuff I have ever attempted. Not all of it, but definitely a lot of it. I used to play in a band that covered Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Queensryche, and all sorts of crazy stuff, and this was more challenging than anything I played with that band.
And yes, it really sucks about Savino. He is absolutely unequivocally talented and he is sorely missed by us. Not only for his talent but his presence among us as well. However, we have really adjusted well and I think our live show is going to be better than ever! We are still a work in progress, but I think you will enjoy our show on Saturday!
Thanks again for all of your support!