Madness In Manila review by Shadows Fall

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  • Released: Oct 26, 2010
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (5 votes)
Shadows Fall: Madness In Manila
0

Sound — 9
Shadows Fall certainly has been recognized in the past few years for its exceptional musicianship, and that is driven home all the more when listening to a live album like the band's latest Madness In Manila: Shadows Fall Live In The Philippines. The top-notch audio mix is really the ace in the hole, and there are moments during the 15-song setlist that you forget that it's actually a live concert. The crowd's cheers are actually muted/muffled a bit more than what you might expect, but fans are probably purchasing the CD to hear the music not all the screamers in the audience. Madness In Manila was recorded at the Pulp Summer Slam on April 30, 2009, and it marks the band's second concert release. If you already own 2005's The Art of Touring and worried that Shadows Fall is just rehashing the same old material heard on that release, you can rest assured that for the most part the tracklist is fresh. Even further, there are five more songs on Madness In Manila than on The Art of Touring. It's always tough to say whether live albums are truly needed (or even wanted) by the bulk of fans, but Madness In Manila does show Shadows Fall in a positive light for the most part. Lead guitarist Jonathan Donais and drummer Jason Bittner are easily the standouts the entire way through, with the audio mix allowing their amazing work to never get overshadowed by the concert setting. Donais' solo work on tracks like The Light That Blinds (which also features a gorgeous acoustic intro) is simply astounding and in many ways makes the entire album worthwhile. Bittner is likewise a machine, with his double bass pedal just bursting through the speakers. The interaction that vocalist Brian Fair has with the audience is your typical metal-rules-supreme, but you have to give the singer credit for interacting with the audience much more than some acts out there. One of the more entertaining moments arrives in one of the later tracks Redemption, in which Fair asks the audience to sing along or if they don't know the words to just yell some random crazy bullshit. Definitely amusing commentary, he provides. In terms of performance, other highlights include the brutal Failure Of The Devout (which recalls classic heavy metal), grooving Thoughts Without Words, and band's self-proclaimed epic Crushing Belial.

Lyrics — 9
The lyrical content will be familiar to fans, but Fair does make a point to emphasize during the concert that his band is not one of whiners who obsess over broken hearts. For the most part, Shadows Fall lives up to that promise. Whether it's the social/racial reflection in War, proclaiming each person's unlimited strength in The Power Of I And I, or the majestic storytelling of Crushing Belial, there are few moments when a weak word comes out of Fair's mouth.

Overall Impression — 7
The overall impression of the music is a positive one, but the DVD that accompanies the CD isn't the most compelling. The editing for the Summer Slam is slightly frantic, but you could argue that it's fitting for the music. The bonus footage includes more live footage from Korea, the Philippines, and Japan, but much of those clips are grainy and shot far away. It's the main feature that contains the highest quality. In all, the DVD gets a passing grade because it's mean to accompany the CD as more of a bonus, but it fails to leave a huge impression thanks to the less-than-ideal videography.

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    cotton3434
    flacid wiener wrote: lol the genre says trash metal. couldnt be any truer.
    Much of metalcore is trash metal, I'll agree, but Shadows Fall is fairly decent music imo. Have a rather unique vocalist and, while its not the most original sound and gets redundant at times (Threads of Life especially :|), it's very distinctive. Much more than you can say for the vast majority of bands in either metalcore or thrash metal (which, now that I think about it, is mostly rehashed trash too).
    EpiExplorer
    Sakke wrote: I agree with Gary.Blizzard Trash metal could indeed become a genre.
    Southern Americans playng thrash. My friends from Bolivia all pronounce 'thrash' as 'trash' and it takes them a while to say 'thrash'.
    iH8CarAccidents
    jetfuel495 wrote: CFH-For-Life wrote: lol the genre says trash metal. couldnt be any truer First off, Shadows Fall is the ****ing shit. If you wanna listen to "trash" metal, go listen to Emmure or some other stupid hardcore" music. Second, it's 'more true', not truer, if your going to insult a band at least do it right.Emmure is not hardcore. They're a disgrace to hardcore.
    I think he meant to put "hardcore" in quotes. Thus implying that they're really not hardcore. Just a bunch of really low tuned guitars and lots of chug chug.
    Sakke
    I agree with Gary.Blizzard Trash metal could indeed become a genre.
    Amuro Jay
    CFH-For-Life wrote: lol the genre says trash metal. couldnt be any truer First off, Shadows Fall is the ****ing shit. If you wanna listen to "trash" metal, go listen to Emmure or some other stupid hardcore" music. Second, it's 'more true', not truer, if your going to insult a band at least do it right.
    Emmure is not hardcore. They're a disgrace to hardcore.
    EpiExplorer
    Its alright. I'm not the biggest fan, but they do a good show. But I haven't been as dissapointed with the DVD since they said 'Lost' would be on playable PC and all that..
    lmpguitarist
    hahaha i find it funny the one dude didn't get that it said "trash" not "thrash".....for those of you who are dyslexic and still don't get it, one is a musical genre and one is another word for garbage...lol
    CFH-For-Life
    lol the genre says trash metal. couldnt be any truer
    First off, Shadows Fall is the ****ing shit. If you wanna listen to "trash" metal, go listen to Emmure or some other stupid hardcore" music. Second, it's 'more true', not truer, if your going to insult a band at least do it right.
    Scrubb
    glitched wrote: In the description it says that they play "Trash Metal". Id edit that if I were you.
    and.....?
    glitched
    In the description it says that they play "Trash Metal". Id edit that if I were you.
    oxymoronicman
    CFH-For-Life wrote: lol the genre says trash metal. couldnt be any truerFirst off, Shadows Fall is the ****ing shit. If you wanna listen to "trash" metal, go listen to Emmure or some other stupid hardcore" music. Second, it's 'more true', not truer, if your going to insult a band at least do it right.
    How dare you diss Emmure? i should go up to you and give you a hand shake!