Massachusetts seems to be churning out Metalcore bands by the dozens these days. Shadows Fall, The Red Chord, Killswitch Engage, Unearth; all fast rising Metalcore stars coming from the area. Now Hell Within, who some consider to be the next "big" band out of MA, return with Shadows Of Vanity.
Right away one hears a big stylistic difference between this new album and the previous, Asylum Of The Human Predator. While still staying true to their Metalcore roots the band seems to be going down more of a slightly different path. The biggest change being the vocals of Matt McChesney. While still throwing in the brutal Metalcore screams when necessary, McChesney really does much more actual singing on this record, which works really well for him as well as the band. Not to make comparisons, but when McChesney sings he sounds an awful lot like Pepper Keenan; which should be taken as a compliment. There are times where the entire band resembles new school C.O.C. hopped up on meth, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The band stays aggressive with blazing double bass drums and ripping guitar solos throughout, while still managing to be melodic. The albums shortest track proves to be its most powerful. "Between The Dead And The Deceived" really stands out as a killer, easily blowing up anything else on the album. Overall the album is good, but at times gets very repetitive and lacks originality. Hell Within have reinvented themselves on Shadows Of Vanity, now they need to use this reinvention as a springboard to bigger and better things, and continue to grow into this new style which seems to be working for them.
01. Shadows Of Vanity
02. My Exit Is Red
03. Lay Down Your Arms
04. The Spiral
05. In The Absence Of Fire
06. Between The Dead And The Deceived
07. For The Taking
09. A Silent Prayer For The Haunted