I only recently found out that they have a new album (I'm living in a slight musical void at the moment), so I'm only discussing their older stuff which is awesome.
I really like their music and they way they mix sounds. In their song "In the Valley of the Dying Sun," they use several different singing styles, musical elements, and levels of intensity. It's like sound texture! They also have an intensity that doesn't come from harsh guitars and lots of drumming. Don't get me wrong, I love the head-banging intensity, but their style is very interesting, refreshing even.
One of my favorite things about them is their lyrics. They have very nicely written lyrics as well as awesome subjects. They go deeper than the run-of-the-mill party and love songs. They do have some about love, but it's love with a twist. In the song "If," the lyrics go "If you were mine I'd tear the altar down to all that I've lost to romance. If you were mine I'd risk my dignity if only to give love a chance." Sweet. "Pulling Back the Skin" is one of my favorites (and they didn't listen to Ian, Steph and I yelling for them to play it at the concert we went to; sad day). It's about a guy who's finding that his ex isn't exactly gone from his life. He doesn't really want her back, but he's still jealous of her. While not particularly pleasant, I thought the honesty was nice.
BUT the best lyrics, in my humble opinion, are their historical lyrics. I do think that artists tend to limit themselves a lot when writing songs. You can write songs about ANYTHING and they always tend to write about love, friends, hard times, sadness, alcohol, partying, etc. These are all well and good, but it's nice to see a bit of creativity. Their "Code Name: Raven" is about a French spy during WWII. The song begins "Maybe you'll see me on the evening news, maybe you'll see me with a bag over my head. If that's the case then I've met my doom. If that's the case then my comrades are dead." It's full of energy and lively lyrics. Wonderful!
I finally figured out how to post links here again (use Google Chrome, not Internet Explorer) so here are some more songs to enjoy.
In the Valley of the Dying Sun (music video)
Pulling Back the Skin
Code Name: Raven