Review Summary: With its minor progressive influences and added semi-melodic guitar leads, this is one deathcore album worth listening to
It is very hard to actually stand out in the deathcore scene without breaking any boundaries of the genre. Luckily, that’s more or less what Shadow Of The Colossus are trying to do. On their self-titled debut album, the band showcase a different breed of deathcore than what we’ve come to know; a collective-based style which focuses on solid musicianship and better songwriting. The added semi-melodic guitarlines and minor progressive influences help to add an extra layer to the music, making the replay value of Shadow Of The Colossus greater then that of most deathcore bands. This makes Shadow Of The Colossus’ debut a deathcore album worth hearing.
When you’re named after a crowd-wowing video game that is almost unanimously considered a masterpiece then expectations are sure to be high. Though at first glance deathcore and Shadow Of The Colossus (the game) cannot be any more different (one being an epic, beautiful and dark video game, whereas the other is a breakdown-centered run of the mill form of extreme music) and there is a well-reasoned sense of fear of this shaming the name of the game, the truth is that Shadow Of The Colossus’ debut album is one of the better deathcore albums to come out this year. The guitar department is still dominated by heavily distorted, palm muted riffing and harsh open string chugging, but Shadow Of The Colossus do add prominent melodic guitarlines which play over the harsh backing, giving the music a whole new dimension. The technicality is also there, with some parts even reminding us more technical death metal than deathcore.
In fact, the only things here that can be picked on are the vocals and the eternal curse that deathcore will always have – repetitiveness. The vox never change during the course of this album - Drew Winter either screams his lungs out or uses his muddy growl – and as far as repetitiveness goes, then the band must be commended for their effort to vary this up, but in the end, when you’ve given the album a few listens, it all starts to blend together a bit. Said repetitiveness problem isn’t as big here as it’s in traditional deathcore, mainly thanks to the prominent guitar leads and tighter songwriting, but it's still something the band has to improve upon on their next endeavors.
While it might seem that a deathcore band wielding the same name as a monumental video game could be an embarrassment, Shadow Of The Colossus do a good-enough job of holding their own. What’s even more important is that the band show a lot of promise and their self-titled debut album is a nice basis on which they can start building upon. If they add some more progressive influences, craft the melodies even better and minimize the amount of plain open chord chugging, great things may very well await them. In the meantime, the band’s debut is an album well-worth hearing, especially for those who like deathcore, but also for anyone into the heavier side of music in general.