Shadows Fall - _Fallout From the War_
(Century Media, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (
Regardless of where you stand on the virtues of Shadows Fall as a leading proponent of modern heavy metal, there's little room to argue that _Fallout From the War_ wasn't at least partly engineered to free the band from their Century Media contract as they head to the infinitely cushier pastures of Atlantic. But who can blame them? Their style may not be to everyone's liking but, moreso than the vast majority of their peers, they've spent a considerable amount of time paying their dues -- and after the staggering response afforded to their _War Within_ effort, only childish cynicism would seek to deny them a little payback.Even though this may have all the makings of a stopgap release, that is certainly not reflected in the quality of the music presented here. To an even greater extent than its Grammy-nominated predecessor, the sessions of which reportedly ironically spawned a fair amount of this record's content, _Fallout From the War_ plays heavily to the Massachusetts quintet's strengths, which means a taut blend of thrash, hardcore and death metal delivered with surgical precision. The band's general fondness for Testament, Anthrax and others of their ilk is brought increasingly to the fore on tracks like the phenomenal "Going, Going, Gone" and "Carpal Tunnel" -- indeed the album's only truly questionable moment being a cover of Dangerous Toys' "Teasin', Pleasn'". Explosive intensity being very much at the order of the day for the rest of the time however, a spot of metallic r&r like that seems to be an almost necessary evil.
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