My first impression when the opener “Can You Tell Me” started was that this was fairly heavy yet very melodic and that is an impression that lasts. During the course of this album, SHADOWLAND manage to jump back and forth between some Heavy Rock and very melodic Heavy Metal many times. There are also times when a very pop-like influence breaks through and I found several parts where I could identify and name a Pop song that sounds close to the melody in question. The amount of interest that the listener is supposed to give to each band member seems to be coordinated with the usual Rock ranking. The vocals take the first place, followed by the guitars and then the drums and the bass help them, a little in the background. This leads to fairly generic and simple drumming that most of the time only provides a basic beat for the songs. The riffing is, as mentioned, fairly heavy, but all of the time I have a feeling that someone is polishing the guitar sound, because there is not room for a single distorted chord or any roughness here. For me that is a minus, if the sound is too well taken care of.
Let us go on to how the actual songs sound. Most of the songs feel like Rock songs with their riffing borrowed from early Heavy Metal bands. I don’t know much about THE SCORPIONS, but I thought about them when I heard this album, both because the almost ballad-like feeling that permeate many songs and because of the lyrical content which is a little more “grown-up” than your usual Metal lyrics. There is much focus on relationships and the like. The vocalist is very important and he sounds somewhat similar to Timo Kotipelto from STRATOVARIUS, but a notch deeper and more melodic. What is noticeable about his singing except his voice is the way he sings on many tracks. Some parts of the title track actually gave me associations to Eurovision Song Contest, but mostly he sings in a calm and sensitive Rock manner.
My favourite track on here is, this far at least, the title track “Falling”, which is a nice melodic ballad. Behind that one most of the songs mix in my head and the obvious instrumental competence and security is held back by a song material without surprises. A unique approach is especially important in a genre as overpopulated as this one and SHADOWLAND fail to deliver anything that interests me particularly.
(Online November 4, 2007)