California has a rich history in Metal and while for a while the more modern undercurrents had taken over a little bit more, there still is pure traditional steel being forged in the City of Angels and one of the latest purveyors of this true form listens to the name of SHADOWS ENTWINED. And their debut “Divine Darkness” definitely stands in full tradition of the US school of old, reminiscent of the likes of NEW EDEN, ONWARD or STEEL PROPHET, so the targeted fanbase is fairly clear from the get-go.
A lot of the tracks contained are up-tempo, with the genre-typical high, melodic vocals that have this slightly “dry” sound to them (as opposed to the often more bombastic vocal production that you find with many European bands) and quite some shred-quality guitar work that more than once shows classical influences, all meshed together into an overall product that belies the fact that the band has only been around since 2007, because both song writing abilities and also production are up to par with many of their more veteran contemporaries, making SHADOWS ENTWINED a band to keep an eye on for the near future.
What’s nice is that with the often high tempo the band still makes an effort to induce variability and dynamics into their songs and this is where they manage to stand apart from quite a few other bands that are trying to recapture the spirit of old, be it in the classically influenced fretwork of “A Sign Of Ages”, the dynamic shiftings of “Persecution Of Souls” or “Plague Of Nations”, where the guys accelerate all the way into the blastbeat realms, but at the same time offer us very nice harmony leads to counterbalance, before taking me completely by surprise with the acoustic guitar laced throughout “The Silent Infamy”, which is a very, very nice counterpart to the regular Metal spectrum the same song contains, showing a lot of maturity and skill to seamlessly and successfully combine these two relative extremes.
Even though I usually am not the biggest fan of the US school of Power Metal, SHADOWS ENTWINED’s debut definitely captured me, not at first or second listen, but with some time and dedication “Divine Darkness” definitely reveals a lot of potential already and a record deal should not be far off, given the quality contained, this would be a typical Cruz Del Sur pick-up, I would say, and you should do the same!
(Online April 19, 2010)