Shadows Fall
The War Within


4.5
superb

Review

by Storm In A Teacup USER (106 Reviews)
January 19th, 2006 | 44 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


Shadows Fall’s latest album The War Within, is also probably their biggest achievement. After releasing this album and gaining in popularity they managed to headline Ozzfest 2005 and toured with major label bands Slipknot and Lamb of God. Signed to Century Media, they are the most popular band on that label as well as the best selling. The band formed in 1995, and released their debut album, Somber Eyes To The Sky, off of guitarist Matt Bachand’s label, Lifeless Records. After catching the attention of Century Media Records, they released their second effort Of One Blood two years after their first, which first featured current singer Brian Fair. In 2002, Shadows Fall released their greatest record today, The Art Of Balance, a record that was heavy, and technical, yet melodic at the same time. Finally, another two years later in 2004, is when The War Within comes into play…

While not exactly reinventing the wheel, the band manages to craft an album that is incredibly melodic, yet still retaining a certain amount of heaviness, but not as much as The Art Of Balance. This could be perceived as both a pro, and a con. It certainly isn’t as brutal, which might upset older fans. What is in place of brutality is something along the lines of more of a “mainstream” feel to the record. This is perhaps because of Brian Fair’s vocal style. He combines both styles of singing, and screaming into one that creates a somewhat original voice, that actually goes well with the music. Some may find it annoying, but for the most part, his voice is solid; you can even understand what he is saying most of the time, which will help to draw in more of an audience.

The dual guitars are easily the best thing that the album has to offer. Stunning solos are unleashed on almost every single song from axe master Jonathon Donais. Both Jon, and Matt combine the styles of both American thrash (thrash “influenced” guitar solos), and European Gothenburg style metal (dual-guitar harmonies, and one-note guitar riffs) to further distance themselves from the rest of the so-called “new wave of American metal. Bassist Paul Romanko comes close as being one of the most underrated bassists in metal today. His lines, while not exactly prominent on The War Within, still help to balance the overall tone of the music in the album. Jason Brittner is the drum master of the band. His fills are amazing, but not as much as his fast double bass, which manages to stand out on pretty much every song.

The only complaint that could be brought forth about the album is that the album goes by fairly quickly. At forty-two minutes long, it seems like only twenty from start to finish, which is probably because some songs mesh together by sounding alike. That is however, the only thing that is bad about the album. The instrumentation, while not as technical as it could be, is what keeps the album from ever really getting old. There are plenty of strong songs on here, with no filler. The Light That Blinds, Enlightened By The Cold, and Ghost Of Past Failures are all classics that will fans will want to repeatedly listen to. The three singles What Drives The Weak, The Power of 1 and I, and Inspiration on Demand are also of excellent quality, and are all wise choices as singles. This isn’t classic, but certainly comes quite close to it, 4.5 out of 5.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Aakon_Keetreh
January 20th 2006


448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i liked this cd a lot

4/5

Good job on the review :thumb:

BigRoachy
January 20th 2006


50 Comments


Good review, but I'd give this CD more of a 3.5/5.
I dunno, but it just didn't have the life that Art of Balance did.

ocelot-05
January 20th 2006


807 Comments


Kripes, or should I say Mr. Metal, good review. I saw this band live last year. Very talented, but not my cup of tea (I prefer PG Tips).

BludgeonySteve
January 20th 2006


558 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty good album. Somewhere in the middle of it I usually fall asleep but then I wake up for the kickass finish.

Dead_Trench
January 20th 2006


159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best review of this CD so good job. I picked this one up for 6 bucks in the summer and it amazed me.

Jawaharal
January 20th 2006


1832 Comments


I liked the review. I used to dig this album a while ago, but the vocals really have turned me off. Those Who Cannot Speak is an awesome song though.

ocelot-05
January 20th 2006


807 Comments


Yeah that's actually the main thing that turned me off, the vocals.

Storm In A Teacup
January 20th 2006


26920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What's so bad about them?

ocelot-05
January 20th 2006


807 Comments


I don't know it just sounds bad.

Thor
January 20th 2006


10277 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Musically, Shadows Fall is fantastic. I just don't seem to like Brian's voice.

NuMetalMania
January 20th 2006


325 Comments


i will give anything a go, so i will get this CD asap, looks good. Havnt heard anything from these guys.

Storm In A Teacup
January 20th 2006


26920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=guy with the n word in his username]i will give anything a go, so i will get this CD asap, looks good. Havnt heard anything from these guys.[/quote]

Glad to see I might have just sold a Shadows Fall cd. Means I must be doing something right.

Toaster
January 20th 2006


343 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is a large step down from TAOB. I find some of the songwriting to be really unexciting and uninspired. I've probably just listened to it too much, but at this point I can't really sit through the album.

Hatshepsut
January 20th 2006


1997 Comments


I agree about the vocals. And yes, Those Who Cannot Speak is awesome. Great review as usualy Kripes.

Shattered_Future
January 20th 2006


1563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Toaster pretty much sums up my views. Compared to TAOB, this sounds really uninspired. It's as if they reused some excess riffs over and crafted new songs out of them.

However, there is some quite good material on here as well...the superb The Light That Blinds, Inspiration On Demand, and Those Who Cannot Speak stand out to me as the hilights of this album.

Storm In A Teacup
January 20th 2006


26920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Light That Blinds, and Inspiration On Demand are my favorite songs off of the album as well.

Apathy
January 20th 2006


645 Comments


This is a huge step down from TAOB, and I didn't like that.

Storm In A Teacup
January 20th 2006


26920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Like I said, fans before this might not like it.

Apathy
January 20th 2006


645 Comments


I wasn't a fan before this, I've only like OOB just a bit.
w00t! name changed!

Storm In A Teacup
January 20th 2006


26920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mazz, why the name change?



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