Shadows Fall - Fallout From The War - 2006 - Century Media
1. In Effigy 2. Will To Rebuild 3. Haunting Me Endlessly 4. Seize The Calm 5. Carpal Tunnel 6. Going, Going, Gone 7. Deadworld 8. This Is My Own 9. December 10. Mark Of The Squealer 11. Teasin' Pleasin'
Northeast band Shadows Fall have really conquered a lot of ground in their short stint on the scene. The band's "Art Of Balance" release of 2002 was a critically acclaimed thrash masterpiece, competing with the band's idols and own metal Gods in terms of power, energy, and perseverance. The group's biggest success was the 2004 album "The War Within", which scorched the charts here in the US and proved to be Century Media's best selling title to date. The band's ability to cross US thrash with the melodic, soaring guitars of Sweden's young metal studs is a winning formula, a smooth combination that allows the angry sounds of today's hot market breed bigger and bolder statements through effective musical precision. "The War Within" saw the band's largest success with Century Media, a catch twenty-two so to speak because it has left the band a hot commodity on the open market. While a bigger label will probably enhance the band's long term outlook and, of course, widen their wallet, a smaller label like Century Media is now left losing their "franchise" player, almost as if the child they grew and adored is now off to bigger and better things. Certainly it is great to see Shadows Fall move further into "prime-time", but at the same time it is a difficult pill to swallow for the "little folks" who have spent so much time grooming and improving the band's mainstream acceptance.
"Fallout From The War" is exactly that, a "left over" basket of goodies and treats that were left off of the initial pressing of "The War Within", hence the title. Most of these songs were recorded at the same time as "The War Within", and were released as B-sides or Jap bonus cuts. However, to fulfill their final album commitment to Century Media, they have put these songs with a few others to make up a full album of "new" material. Not a bad idea at all, and in this day and age a normal record event that has been done by many bands nearing the end of their recording contract (see other Century Media hopefuls like Iced Earth and Stuck Mojo). While this may not be a full step forward to hearing the band's newest material, it is a fair parallel step that allows fans like me and you to hear some new cuts while we wait for the new album.
Tracks one through six were all recorded around the same time as "The War Within". You can hear that same sort of vibe and aura behind strong, healthy barn burners like "In Effigy" and "Seize The Calm". The band do a few different things here, really showing off their aggressive side on the death metal styled "Going, Going, Gone" and the rather progressive piece "Carpal Tunnel". The band adds three cover tunes to this endeavor; a recording of Only Living Witness' "December", a rendition of Leeway's "Mark Of The Squealer", and the widely talked about Dangerous Toys cover "Teasn' Pleasn', complete with original 'Toys vocalist Jason McMaster contributing guest vocals. This album was produced once again by band friend and talented knob-turner Zeuss.
Bottom Line - A worthy collection of new material that sets the stage for Shadows Fall's grand entrance into the prime-time, mainstream world. At this point the band has shown great work ethics, touring just about every bar, grill, club, and arena in a quest to make their music known. They seem very appreciative and grateful for Century Media's helping hand in getting them this far. I look for the band's next release to put them near Pantera's monumental stardom circa "Vulgar Display Of Power". From there it is in their hands on how far they want to take their legacy.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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