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Shadows Fall: Fire from the Sky

Most readers probably know about Shadows Fall, their success, their label changes, their flirtations with mainstream (radio-friendly) metal. Though Shadows Fall may have lost some fans over the years, particularly those who prefer metal to remain completely on the margins of music, they remain a very talented, even powerful, band that deserves to be heard. Not too many bands can boast this much success after fourteen years, especially with so many new bands popping up every week. I'm fond of Shadows Fall because they form an important part of the so-called New Wave of American Metal, an idea that reminds us Americans that there is life after the 80s and, yes, even the 90s. In a rapidly changing metal scene, it's nice to know that bands like Shadows Fall are still relevant and strong. Their newest release, Fire from the Sky, is quite welcome, mostly because the songwriting is generally interesting and the playing is aggressive and powerful. From the beginning, listeners will appreciate the twin guitar harmonies, the speedy, if somewhat traditional, guitar solos, and the slight hints of thrash in the mix. The title track is an especially good offering in this respect--I love it when bands experiment with thrash.

Brian Fair's vocals sound great on this release; I confess that I prefer his dirty vocals, mostly because they carry an aggressiveness that is more musically interesting to me. When he turns to the cleaner style, he tends to do so during the chorus or during a transition that is relatively unsurprising, even slightly more upbeat than metal fans like. "Save Your Soul" is one example of this style. Nevertheless, Fair has a good voice and the lyrics he performs are relatively interesting, often dealing with social and political questions frankly and directly. "Nothing Remains," for example, treats the dangers of drug abuse effectively. This is a good release, if, perhaps, a little long. Long-time fans will appreciate their heavier tone and their punchy delivery.

Track Listing:

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

Added: June 13th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1845
Language: english

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