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April 1, 2023

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Shadows Fall
Of One Blood (Century Media Records)

By: Jeb Branin

One of the things that I have most appreciated about Century Media Records over the years from a "business" perspective is that they rarely over hype their bands or their label in a cheesy attempt to get zines to buy into their vision. In fact they have always been pretty low key considering they have produced many of metal's greatest acts ever. So I was a bit amazed to see all of the hullabaloo surrounding SHADOWS FALL. Century Media were even going so far as to invoke the iconic greatness of bands like IRON MAIDEN and METALLICA, hinting strongly at SHADOWS FALL's potential to reshape the metal landscape. Color me skeptical but I approached this CD with more than a fair amount of dubiousness. The verdict? The band is definitely over hyped... but that shouldn't detract from their obvious greatness. This is a CD that is going to be making it onto year end "Best of..." lists the world over. SHADOWS FALL build a complex and melodic brand of post-death metal by both digging into the past and looking to the future. The root of the music is reminiscent of the sharp honed speed metal of the late 80s and early 90s that was almost universally ignored in the first wave of death metal. Imagine the diamond edged riffing of Steve Grimmett era ONSLAUGHT or later era OVERKILL and then add a dual vocal assault that mixes death growls with clean singing that is reminiscent of early FEAR FACTORY in a lot of ways. Additionally there are soaring guitar solos and machine gun drums throughout the album. The songs are generally complex and highly melodic with strategically arranged time changes and multiple layers that lend an epic feel to everything. The end result is a stellar release that is going to make waves the world over. Whether those waves will leave a lasting impact on the scene will only be determined with time.
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