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Shadow Demon
Grimoire of Ruin

Company: Darkhaven Records
Release: 2006
Genre: Traditional
Reviewer: Raising Iron

  • For fans of good ole' heavy metal with a bit of thrash



  • "One and done"; such is the case for Seattle's five-piece Shadow Demon, who, after member departures post-debut, Grimoire of Ruin from 2006, dwindled to a three-piece shortly before calling it a day. It's too bad too, as the band recorded an exceptional effort of modern day traditional/power metal that harbored an intuitive pulse of all things time-honored in the world of heavy metal.

    Shadow Demon pursue a form of metal that, while very traditional in structure, inject a bit of thrash into the guitars; and vocalist Blaine Hammond possesses a deep, rich, and slightly gravelly tone, adding to the bracing assault of the riffs. Grimoire of Ruin rests in opaque heaviosity, never varying too much from the scheme employed; hence bland affectations begin to creep to the surface after just a few songs, despite being well-executed. Opening the album with a lengthy epic at nearly nine minutes is always a bit risky, but the guys pull it off with much aplomb; the remaining eight songs clocking in at six minutes or less. Although a same-ness exists amongst the songs, a couple of canticles stand out above the dim din; first, "The Dark Citadel: Part 1 (The Shifter)" opens with its infectious melody before progressing into hellified thrash riffs that brand themselves deep into your senses; and second, "Sea of Oblivion", a low-slung, rugged, and surging stride sure to have your synopses firing.

    Having recorded, produced, and mixed the disc themselves, the band show off a wealth of talent, but oft-times that's not enough to keep a group adhesive, and the usual disputes of musical direction cropped the project before it really even took root. So, for fans of good ole' heavy metal with a bit of thrash thrown in, snag this release if you can find it, as at the very least it'll round out your collection a bit.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: SHADOW DEMON
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Grimoire of RuinShadow Demon
    2006
    Raising Iron10/30/2009


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: SHADOW DEMON

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