2007 has been nothing short of a banner year for metal! With new releases from Megadeth, Overkill, Behemoth, Municipal Waste, Machine Head, and countless others, we've seen a year not matched since 1986 in it's sheer intensity, ferocity, and excellent metal albums!
So when all is said and done, and we look at what Shadows Fall has not only done this year, but in their 10+ years as a band, it is safe to say that they while they got the memo, they weren't able to fully deliver.
It is with a heavy heart that I must say "Threads of Life" was one of the disappointments of 2007, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good record!
Threads of Life marks the major-label debut of Massachusetts metal outfit Shadows Fall. After breaking through with The Art of Balance and a 2003 Ozzfest appearance that thrust them to the front of the blossoming Metalcore movement, they followed with The War Within and Fallout From the War. Like any respectable metal band, they wanted to assure everyone that they would not compromise their style with the new bucks and support that came with their new deal.
The result is a 20-Ton Hammer that simply will not relent and rests only once to let you breath. While normally this is a welcomed thing, we are left in a sea of little or no change in style, tempo, or riffs. While many will simply lampoon Slayer for writing the same song over and over again, it is Shadows Fall who have actually come very close to it.
The album opens with the track "Redemption", a hard-hitting track that riffs away with no remorse! By the time you get to "Venomous", its hard to say just how long you have been listening to this disc, save the incredible track "Stormwinds". In fact, Shadows Fall even includes a ballad with "Another Hero Lost". Oh say it isn't so? It is, but it is done quite well!
In the end, you have a disc that you can tell was forged in raw steel, and the cooling period to set this metal to use did leave a few too many dents and dings, not leaving it pure enough. Nevertheless, this is a solid disc and a solid effort. I have said similar things about "Demigod" by Behemoth and "Among the Living" by Anthrax, and despite my opinion, I was either proven wrong or right on just how much is too much.
I give this disc a 7.5 out of 10!