The Massachusetts based Shadows Fall offer a unique brand of Metalcore tinged Thrash Metal. With plenty of guitar solos and a considerable nod to the 1980s but a strong melodic element the band straddle the line between classic and modern rather comfortably; it may not be to everyone’s tastes, but if you like this sort of music Shadows Fall are one of the most vital and important bands out there.
At first listen this album didn’t grab me, it just passed me by and (with the exception of `King Of Nothing,’) didn’t seem as interesting as the band’s last three albums, but on the second listen I noticed the real step up in musicianship on display here, The guitars have never been this fast or technical and the drums are even more powerful and authoritative than before. The band just seem to have kicked up a gear as musicians each seeming to have a more complete mastery of their instrument than on any previous album. The vocals have similarly never sounded better with the vocals on the songs `Embrace Annihilation,’ and `Picture Perfect,’ being particularly strong.
Also worth mentioning is the brilliant production, the guitar sound is so good it is hard to believe and the same can be said for the drums. This is all well and good, but a good production is pointless without a good set of well written songs.
First of all, the song `King Of Nothing,’ featuring a guest vocal performance from Randy Blythe is maybe the best song Shadows Fall have every written it is so perfectly catchy and it is heavy in just the right way making it an absolute joy to listen to, and when you factor in the improved musicianship and the previously mentioned production you’ve got a real gem on your hands.
Other highlights include the fast and typically intense `War,’ which features some very powerful drumming and a brilliant breakdown, and `A Public Execution,’ which is grows better with each listen.
In fact this can be said of every song on the album, the more you listen to it the more you like it, all the clever drum fills and vocal hooks make themselves known and after a few listens the album feels like a real classic. If you like Shadows Fall you simply will not be disappointed.