Shadows Fall
Threads of Life


2.5
average

Review

by Brain Dead USER (30 Reviews)
August 7th, 2007 | 35 replies | 5,505 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Shadows Fall melt into the generic American metalcore scene.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

The first thing one notices upon picking up Shadows Fall's latest release, Threads of Life, is the unspeakably horrible artwork on the front. The cover art depicts a rather ugly creature that is apparently sewn together and entirely eye-less. In short, the cover art appears to be done by a rather talentless local artist with a penchant for clashing colors horribly (check the purpleish pink on green, yo). It does, however, clearly convey a feeling of rawness and obscurity. Is this perhaps Shadows Fall expressing their desire to return to their thrash/Gothenburg roots?

Apparently not. Threads of Life finds Shadows Fall treading water. The War Within was very definitely a metalcore album, but it still managed to maintain the vibrant Shadows Fall sound. Threads Of Life, with a few exceptions, seems to be entirely devoid of the aspects that made Shadows Fall so listenable and enjoyable in the first place. The grooving, low end thrash riffs and deep throaty vocals have all but vanished. Brian Fair is irredeemably poor on this album; his clean vocals are entirely unremarkable, and his harsh vocals are very weak. Because of this, he often resorts to the loatheworthy tactic of gang vocal shouting. Fair used to be a good vocalist, but has been steadily worsening since the band's magnum opus, The Art Of Balance. Also, the lyrics are the same faux-spiritual nonsense that we've been fed on previous albums. That's not anything new, but it's definitely still a negative. The riffs themselves also seem to be steadily worsening; it seems like Shadows Fall are simply running out of ideas. There are still some good ones, such as the triumphant riffage in Redemption, but there are many more bland and faceless ones. There is also a distinct lack of the ferocious groove thrash guitar lines that were so present on The Art Of Balance; the low end is less noticeable. Perhaps that is due to the more expensive production. If that's the case, then I prefer the underproduced version.

The songs themselves are nothing spectacular either. The finest tracks bookend the album; Redemption, Burning The Lives, Just Another Nightmare, and Forevermore are all fine Shadows Fall tracks. However, the middle of the album is notably weak. Another Hero Lost is the first attempt at a solely emotional ballad by Shadows Fall, and it fails miserably. Brian Fair attempts to carry the song with his weak voice, but his shallow lyrics and the insipid guitar melody manage to ruin his attempt. The semi-thrash nonsense at the end sounds forced as well. Dread Uprising is a fierce, hardcore inspired track that is almost entirely lead free, much in the same vein as The Power Of I And I. The solo is incredible, but the riffing is stagnant to say the least. Venomous sounds like it was ripped straight off of a latter era Metallica album, and fails to make any mark at all. Shadows Fall attempt to infuse some of their old ferocity into Failure Of The Devout, and it almost works. The riffs are breakneck and at least slightly technical, but the song itself is stretched too long and not very enjoyable. The dissonant melody in the beginning (think Stillness) is also quite ear grating. Last Call is simply too long without being inherently epic; it's just long for the sake of being long. Needless to say, it's quite tedious.

That's pretty much the story of Threads of Life. There are some decent, even good tracks, but there is a notable lack of sonic development and at least half of the tracks are tedious. This makes me especially sad, because I have long considered Shadows Fall to be one of my favorite bands. I would recommend picking up their entire catalogue before you pick up this disappointment.



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user ratings (493)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
Michael Roberts (3)
Shadows Fall shows growth and reveals new influences and sounds in the process. Threads of Life con...

Mike Stagno EMERITUS (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Brain Dead
August 7th 2007



1150 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Meh, this is kind of short. Just thought I'd supply an alternate viewpoint.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2007



16263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I enjoyed "The War Within".... but "Fallout From The War" was bland and very boring. The fact that this album came out less than a year later shows me that Shadows Fall isn't putting much thought into their work.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

Shadows
Moderator
August 7th 2007



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fallout was terrible by their standards, but this is great! I love Failure of the Devout, it's a really intense thrash song. Stormwinds and Venomous are also heavy as fuck with some great riff action.

gasmaskman
August 7th 2007



1006 Comments


Fallout was just a bunch of stuff they wrote during The War Within/The Art of Balance, so even though it's not even a year, FFTW isn't really a new album IMO.

Mikesn
Emeritus
August 7th 2007



3709 Comments


I still love Redemption but I don't listen to this very much anymore. Good review.

Epilogue
August 7th 2007



1585 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Fallout was just a bunch of stuff they wrote during The War Within/The Art of Balance, so even though it's not even a year, FFTW isn't really a new album IMO.

Yeah, it was just a bunch of tracks not worthy for anything other than FFTW. What do you call an album like Fallout anyway?


Brain Dead
August 7th 2007



1150 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

A B-side album.

Confessed2005
August 7th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think you were a little harsh on this.

And I think the cover art is pretty cool.

SylentEcho
August 7th 2007



1570 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[quote=brain_dead]A B-side album.[/quote]the EXACT words I was looking for and the most fitting description for this album. All the songs seem like something you would put on B sides.

gasmaskman
August 7th 2007



1006 Comments


I think he was talking about Fallout...

ChrisWyatt
August 7th 2007



88 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I never knew Brian Fair was a good vocalist in the first place

Digging: Wovenwar - Wovenwar

Wizard
August 7th 2007



19240 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Excellent review, crap album to make it brief!

Digging: Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts

muchtallerthanu
August 7th 2007



648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The album was good. Their best one would have to be The Art of Balance.

SylentEcho
August 8th 2007



1570 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think he was talking about Fallout...
then shame on SF for making 2 B side albums :P

Wizard
August 8th 2007



19240 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I found their best albums to be The War Within and The Art of Balance. Seriously, this cd is just recycled riffs from their past albums. They havent progressed at all as a band.

kalkal50
August 8th 2007



2386 Comments


Yeah if anything it's just really bad recyclage.

Brain Dead
August 8th 2007



1150 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Why the hell is this the default?
I guess I shouldn't complain.

blackened07
August 8th 2007



949 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is an average cd at best. Good review.

Itwasthatwas
August 21st 2007



762 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Contrived garbage for the most part, overproduced to the point that everything has lost its punch. Gets a 2.5 for a couple decent songs amidst the junk. SF went from being the best in this wave of modern metal(core) to falling back with rest of the pack.

Thor
September 16th 2007



10178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like this album more than I used to. "Failure of the Devout" at 2:56 is so killer.



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