Shadows Fall - _The War Within_
(Century Media, 2004)
by: Quentin Kalis (
According to their bio, Shadows Fall performed at Ozzfest 2003 and have won an award for best "underground" band (my emphasis: selling 100 000 copies of a particular album might make you an underground act to the suits at Virgin and EMI, but not in the metal scene) at the "Metal Hammer" awards. And the vocalist has dreadlocks. None of this endears me in any way to the band; in fact, it sends out a warning sign no less overt than the wail of an ambulance siren. But Shadows Fall are much harder to brush aside than many of the other young metal bands catering for a relatively mainstream audience._TWW_ is at its heart a thrash metal album, but tempered by a melodic edge and more modern influences, even crossing over into power metal territory on several occasions. The expected lucid production allows them to display their fairly technical prowess to the fullest. The biggest failing are the vocals, which are too metalcore for my liking, though I imagine that there are many who would disagree with me.Unlike some of their contemporaries, they are obviously talented; and while they are not groundbreaking innovators, _TWW_ is far from cookie cutter metal and infinitely more skilled than the rapcore bullshit that pollutes radio playlists. If this is the face of mainstream metal to come, then bring it on!
(article published 13/12/2004)
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