Of One Blood
Casting a dark shadow across the metal landscape and encompassing the realms of hardcore, death, progressive and emo, New England’s Shadows Fall strive to refine aggressive music. Of One Blood offers a subtle shading of the strongest qualities of a multitude of metalic sub-genres in a progressive and defining fashion. Shadows Fall showcase dual lead guitars, similiar to traditional American thrash and modern Gothenburg death stylings, complete with harmonized melody lines, chunky galloping rhythms and technical soloing. Pummling double bass paired against the grappling guitar lines move the songs, but it is the transitions between passages that showcases Shadows Fall’s stunning musicianship. Building upon the complex instrumentation is the quintet’s multi-faceted vocal approach which adds dynamics to the aural assault with combinations of emo-esque clean voices, coarse death growls and hardcore inspired yelps. From Brian Fair’s (ex-Overcast) shifty multi-voice lead to the three-way dual-vocal layering layering when guitarist’s Jonathan Donais and Matt Bachand lend their lungs, Shadows Fall offer colouration coenciding with their the lyrcial emotion. Introspecitive thoughts are translated beyond words deliver haunting tales of personal reflection through the multitude of vocal articulations while the rest of the music paints its own interpretation. The interplay between the voices and instruments offers further inspiration for the strong content of the words. One would expect those elements alone to propel a band’s music in and of itself, but Shadows Fall refuse to stop there. Their overall songwriting is undulating in form, flowing between styles effortlessly and encompassing fully a multitude of dynamic and progressive ideas. Beautiful acoustic passages are offset by soaring guitar solos which melt into hammering hardcore-esque breakdowns and bleed subtly back into the origins of the song. The vast pallet from which Shadows Fall draw their musical expression from is more than adequite to make up for the somewhat thin production that can be felt at times on the CD. Once witnessed live, however, the depth of the band is pumped vigerously through the soul, fully overcoming any recording studio budget shortcomings one might feel exist. Shadows Fall cast down a new definition of metalic style by setting an intimidating standard which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that all aggressive music is truly born Of One Blood.