Sunday, August 20, 2006

Shadows Fall - Fallout From the War

If you like Thrash Metal, Iron Maiden, Helloween, Death, and Lamb of God, you'll enjoy:

Shadows Fall - Fallout From the War

As I write this, the opening gunshots of Metallica's "One" are echoing through my mind. The sound of guns firing in a darken sky, of grenades exploding near you mere feet away from you... Shadows Fall's latest EP does, on many levels, come close to being as epic as that famous song.

This has been criticized by fans and critics before the album (or EP) came out, saying it was just a collection of scraps leftover from The War Within sessions and a few covers, equating to nothing more than a contractual obligation to Century Media before going over to their new major label. Although that is, to a point, true, it doesn't mean that this isn't a damn good record!

Starting off with "In Effigy", the Fallout begins, creating a landscape lush with melodic trash riffs and the hard-hitting vocals we have all come to love. "Carpal Tunnel" is a laugh riot, as it was written about all the people who hide behind their computers and criticize bands all days long. The truth of it all simply is astounding, no? "Going, Going, Gone" is very close to traditional hardcore.

One of the best things about a good Shadows Fall album is that it gets better and better with each listen, which is exactly the case here. Although I am the first to admit that most of the album feels like filler (Track 2, 3, and 4 all kinda just sit there), they add something to the overall feel of the album and can serve as a great introduction to someone just getting into the phenomenon. Although "Haunting Me Endlessly" is doing just that as I write; The riffage and the vocals sink in over time.

The covers on the second half, sadly, don't seem to add too much to the album other than to pay tribute to the bands that inspired them, save the last two. "Mark of the Squealer", at least to me, is an incredibly controversial pick to do simply because of the subject matter in relationship to modern day society in urban cities. While most kids who live in the suburbs or small towns, the entire "Stop Snichin'" campaign is unknown, but it has basically stopped people in most cities from speaking out against violent crimes. The song is incredibly eerie to me for that reason, but it is still incredibly entertaining.

The closer, a Danger Toys cover, is the highlight of the disc for me. If your like me at all, you grew up when all the nu-metal movement was going on and "tru" metalheads teased or, at the very least, looked down their noses at you for not liking some thrash band you never heard of because, well, you were 5 when they were big. If your like me, that never happened and you wound up liking hair metal in the 90's because it was a part of your childhood you wanted back. Myself? I'm a big fan of the Bulletboys album Freakshow. "Teasin' & Pleasin'" is a simply hilarious cover, done exactly as Shadows Fall should perform it! You can hear the playing as only they could! Although Jason McMasters sounds a little rough around the edges at time, it is a great tune!

Yes, this album gets a 4 out of 5. Damn good disc!


1 comment:

Genocide_Junkie said...

This is an amazing record considering it is a b-sides and covers album. All of the originals are stellar.