Some of the most interesting bands to me over the last couple years have been what I call the "hybrids". You can largely classify most metal bands into about a half dozen or so genres--black, death, NWOAHM, NWOBHM, prog, power, thrash, and traditional but there are some very notable groups--Children of Bodom, Biomechanical, and Strapping Young Lad, come to mind--that combine different styles ripping at the parts they want, spilling blood and combining the monstrous mess into an untouchable metallic beast. Shadows Within is one of the few bands I've heard in America that are difficult to classify into any standard label; there's elements of modern thrash, Gothenburg death, New Wave of American Heavy Metal and good old fashioned brutality.
Hailing from Martinsville, VA and formed in the winter of 2003. The band started writing songs and realized that there was great chemistry between the members and a distinctly unique sound with influences ranging from Pantera, Fear Factory, Lamb of God, and Nothingface. Shadows Within focuses on meshing brutal, heavy metal with melodic keyboards and emotional driven vocals. Vocals tend toward harsh often with a touch of static distortion and production-wise the CD is more forward with ferocious guitars that tend to overshadow the rhythms and keys. I'd like to see the gothic elements a little louder in the mix if used in future recordings.
Suffering of Truth is layered chaos that just mows down everything in its path. Stealing Life and Shallow Grave are more along the NWOAHM style combining rough verses with commercially softer choruses and Christa's keyboards touches which lend some atmospheric gothic weight. The stuttering staccato riffs of Incite War and Closer To Our Hell incite me to want to break everything around me which is in this context, a great thing. Mark of Resolution takes us back to the harsh and soft combination.
It's great to hear hometown, local bands fusing various elements into new and exciting metal sounds and I'll be keeping two ears out for what these guys will do on their next CD.
About this Writer: Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.
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