For Fans Of
Shadows Fall are an interesting proposition insofar as they haven’t exactly vanished from the genre nor have they lapsed, but their name seems relatively quiet nowadays when referenced in contemporary metal speak. They are respectable but perhaps not the trailblazers one initially expected.
It was around 2004 when metalcore was infusing with classic thrash that the Massachusetts quintet seemed most prominent (and perhaps relevant too). The endless dreads of frontman Brian Fair, equally fashioning a Celtics jersey, appeared to signpost the band. ‘The War Within‘ was solid and boded well for the future.
Eight years later and the continuity is still there. The line-up remains unchanged and the style relatively stoic. However, there have been some bumps along the way. Seventh studio album ‘Fire From the Sky‘ has a very recognisable face and presence to it, and that works well in this instance. It’s metal crafted, constructed and performed by those that show an obvious fondness and understanding of the sound.
The riffs are individual enough but have a classic influence present. The past Shadows Fall elements are retained, with attempts made to add some variation. Whether the latter works is left up to individual opinion.
‘The Unknown‘ is promising and ‘Divide and Conquer‘ gets the neck warmed up. The music is driving if nothing else. The vocals are again typically mixed between harsher, deeper moments and cleaner (without being cheesy and preachy) sections.
‘Fire From the Sky‘ is polished, dense and contrasting, with the album’s title track fitting with any prevailing sentiments. It has a thrash pace only broken up by regular melodic changes. ‘Blind Faith‘ begins in less than ominous fashion, while ‘The Wasteland‘ highlights that skinsman Jason Bittner just gets metal drumming. The template is constant. However, is this a double edged sword. Does ‘constant’ equal consistency or maybe in stark comparison predicability?
‘Fire From the Sky‘ doesn’t necessarily elicit a groundbreaking level of response but the listener will feel satisfied. The full-length is not an unconditional staple on the stereo, yet still plays out in an engaging and determined manner. There’s some fight left in this dog yet.
Shadows Fall embody the genre they exist within. The sound and identity fits with its aesthetics and for the most part ‘Fire From the Sky’ delivers in a purposeful manner. There is a sense of repetition present, but studio album number seven still has enough emotive and entertaining moments to keep the neutral appeased.
1. The Unknown
2. Divide And Conquer
3. Weight Of The World
4. Nothing Remains
5. Fire From The Sky
6. Save Your Soul
7. Blind Faith
8. Lost Within
9. Walk The Edge
10. The Wasteland
11. Eternal Life
12. A Death Worth Dying
13. Failure Of The Devout (live)
14. The Light That Blinds (live)