The uber retro synths and more spoken vocals caught me off guard going into this . When guitars and more actual instruments come in on the second song things begin to feel more familiar. There is a touch of Sisters of Mercy to it. I recall his singing having improved more and you do not get to hear and attempt at vocal melodies until "So so Low". There is something about the guitars on the song that makes me think of Bruce Springsteen. "Delicate Prey" is super 80s I am talking early Depeche Mode here. Less guitar more dancey. Overall five songs in an I think it is safe to say we are seeing a progression from post-punk into this .
"Crystal Caves" starts more typical Cure like post-punk, there are some female vocals that chime in to add different atmosphere. The vocals continue to be the raspy whisper . On the more droning song that follows this it strikes me that he sound like Leonard Cohen. I prefer the more industrial turn taken on "Industry Pig". He goes back into a more Sister of Mercy place on "Zoe Rising". Though like dance oriented and not as driving in the guitar or bass line department. This is corrected and both of those elements are present in " Inferno Rebels" . Not that I need him to sound more like Sisters of Mercy, but that is the direction it goes in.
The gloomy bottom of a bottle whiskey folk of Nick Cave is summoned up with a side of electronic ambiance on "Learn to Love the Lash" . It takes a dramatic turn in terms of how the dynamics shifts that is a game changer and makes it all come together in an impressive manner. Any time a band can give me something like this that I am not expecting , I am sold. "Skinned Alive" has synths that are brighter than the rest of the album, and while it works for what it is , walks a thin line in that regard. It's missteps like this that are why I am giving this an 8.5, there are some great moments that show growth, the direction he is growing in is not always for me.