this wasn't supposed to be a subtle analysis. it just seems like the guitar sounds are more diverse and organic again. on the last albums, esp. rr, the guitar sound is rather clean all the way through and when there's distortion it's mostly squeaky and pretty thin. i love those albums, but i always wished they wouldn't be so tidy sound-wise....or, to put it better: it worked for the trilogy, but now it's time for change!