The first time I saw SHADOWS FALL live was in the summer of 2000, where they opened for KING DIAMOND. Immediately enthralled by their live set, I decided to purchase their newest record (at the time), although it took me a year to finally get my hands on it, mainly because whenever I felt like buying it, it wasnít available, yet it appeared in large numbers in stores where I was just window shopping at.
Anyway, I bought the CD and it was well worth the wait. The band sounds like a mix between IN FLAMES, MEGADETH, SLAYER, METALLICA (back in the day) with some Hardcore thrown in there. The band goes from these heavy thrashing riffs to amazing harmonies to catchy vocal lines that all flows like water. There are a myriad of riffing styles on this album, from the chugging Hardcore riffs, to fast Thrash to tremolo picked Death Metal ones to acoustic and clean parts. There isnít a dull moment on this album, because the music is always interesting, with different melodies popping up, in between very heavy riffing that will induce mass headbanging. It meshes the best of METALLICA with the best of IN FLAMES (their older material, in both cases). Add melodic and tasteful shredding on the top and music wise, itís a very diverse and high quality release.
The vocals follow suit as well, with almost every song containing Thrash-y semi-melodic screaming (like SLAYER/METALLICA did) to powerful Death Metal growls to Hardcore yells to very melodic singing. Everything is done top notch, with some parts throughout the songs where there are both melodic singing and growls, just to create a sense of tension and a contrast. Very nicely done on the vocal part I must say.
At first glance, all the influences that the band wears on its sleeve may seem like SHADOWS FALL wants to be 10 different things at once, but after repeated listens, it is clear that the band knows how to mesh all the elements that made their influences great and created something to call their own. ďOf One BloodĒ is hardly Metalcore, or whatever the hell people are calling it these days. Itís an amazing release by an amazing band.
Recommended. (Online June 11, 2005)