Sound — 10
Somber Eyes To The Sky is the only Shadows Fall album that incorporate actual death metal genre. This album attributes the style of American brutal death metal and European melodic death metal, which shows both brutality and melody in it. Apparently it leans way more on the American brutal death metal side, which make them sound like they're heavily influenced by American death metal acts such as Suffocation, Skinless, Cannibal Corpse, Immolation, Morbid Angel, Obituary, and also they followed Matt Bachand and Phil Labonte old brutal death metal band Exhumed (not the deathgrind) and Perpetual Doom. 7 songs in the album are death metal, and 3 of them non-death metal. Songs like "Somber Angel", "Suffer The Season", "Eternal", "Nurture", and "Lifeless" are New York style of brutal death metal based, songs like "Pure", and "Revel of My Loss" are a combination of old school Florida death metal with melodic death metal, and the 3 other songs in the album are different. "Lead Me Home" is an melodic soothing acoustic song, "To Ashes" is an melodic death metal song, and "Fleshold" is a combination of thrash metal and melodic death metal. The sound is primarily focused on brutality which conveys idea of speed and aggression. The guitar work by Matt Bachand and Jon Donais contains various "brutal" elements such as the usage of intense complex palm muting power chord patterns, an extremely fast tremolo picking, and some scale movements that is similar to the American Style of Brutal death metal bands. This is shown in songs such as Somber Angel, Suffer The Season, Nurture, and Eternal. There are also melodic element parts in some of parts of their songs. The drums are faster involving some blast beats and some complex drum patterns.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrical themes of this album are death, life, society, suffering, struggles, pain, loss, depression, contradiction, and anger. The band tend to show their anger, aggression, strong emotions, and natural feelings to convey their lyrical themes. The vocals are death metal based, Matt Bachand and Phil Labonte uses a low guttural brutal Death growl, and Jon Donais uses Death shriek/scream, sometimes Phil tends have different kind of growling range, usually from mid-range to low. Matt tends Death growl really low and guttural.
Overall Impression — 10
No other Shadows Fall albums compare to this one. This album is absolutely the key of showing their actual true metal genre. They show that death metal was alive in brutality back in the '90s. I'm not going to lose this album ever, and I will spend another like 10 hours downloading it again.