F U L L . R E V I E W S

Shadows Fall - Fallout From The War - 2006 - Century Media

Track Listing
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.

--EC 5.15.06

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 contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. 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. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

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.

Fallout From The WarShadows Fall
Eric Compton5/16/2006
War WithinShadows Fall
Greg Watson9/27/2004


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