The Art Of Balance Review

artist: Shadows Fall date: 12/04/2006 category: compact discs
Shadows Fall: The Art Of Balance
Released: Sep 17, 2002
Genre: Rock
Tones: Hostile, Angry, Bleak, Visceral, Aggressive, Malevolent
Styles: Heavy Metal, Death Metal/Black Metal
Number Of Tracks: 12
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Overall rating:
 9.2 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.6 
 Users rating:
 8.8 
 Votes:
 30 
 Views:
 318 
reviews (8) 5 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
The Art Of Balance Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 13, 2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Heavy thrash mixed with melody. There is something for everyone, great riffs, great technique, great solo's, only annoying thing is brian fairs voice can sound a little a bit rough but at times this adds to the overall power of the record. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics hear are mixed in quailty, while songs such as thoughts without words, stepping outside the circle and the idiot box are quite clear in there meaning, The mystery of one spirit, idle hands and fire in babylon can only be understood after examinging the lyrics thourghly, but the two gems are destroyer of senses, a song about alcohol containing the lyric "I keep falling of this straight and narrow line" *genuis*, and you simnply can't fault the cover of Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the machine". // 6

Overall Impression: There are two easy comparisons to make with shadows fall, the first being the most obvious killswitch engage, although they are more brutal and more techy than killswitch the sheer intensity of those choruses cannot be matched. the other would be pantera. with those mellow bits and riffs, shadows fall prove they can take on any well known great head on. Where as dimebags riffs are suberbly catchy, shadows fall's riffs are so brutal. both have there place. The most impressive songs are Thoughts without words, stepping outside the circle, destroyer of senses and welcome to the machine, although the intro to fire in babylon with its three part harmony is enough to leave you breathless, and casting shade is an instrumental that truely moves you. My personal fave is stepping outside the circle. If this album was stolen I'd rush out and buy it again. The whole thing is a superb piece of exceelent musician ship between all memebrs and shows how the band have evolvled from there aggresive days into a much mnore powerfull more melodic monster! // 10

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overall: 10
The Art Of Balance Reviewed by: Taterdamillion, on january 12, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: These guys can play. They are bringing back the blistering riffs and speed solos off Metallica and Slayer, and thank god; it's about time. I, frankly, am getting tired of Creed soundalikes, and the Thrash/Speed Metal sound of Shadows Fall is very refreshing. I say bring me more! // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are really pretty good. They're no Metallica. They're no Perfect Circle. They're no Nirvana. But the bar is set way too high to judge on that aspect solely. The sound of the lyrics go great with the sound of the music. It's a nice combination of a James Hetfield and a Derrick Greene. The actual lyrics are very thought provoking, clever, and fun to listen to, albeit a little confusing at times. // 10

Overall Impression: I would say this band is better overall than 95% of all the new bands out there today. I strongly recommed this album to any fan of 80s Thrash/Speed. It's a breath of fresh air for the music world, especially when all we've been breathing is Staind, Limp Bizkit, and Blink 182, Good Charlette, and Simple Plan. God bless Shadows Fall. // 10

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overall: 10
The Art Of Balance Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 29, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Wow, I really buy a lot of really good c.d.'s. Yet another one in my collection that is good enough that I actually take the time to review it. This is definitely a metal band, fusing death metal, thrash metal,yes, some nu-metal, but not rap and shitty guitar work associated with it, and just plain American heavy metal. This band is truly in a class of their own with this record. // 10

Lyrics: Singer Brian Fair has an incredible power to his voice, as shown in many different ways, such as the well-sung Pink Floyd cover for "Welcome to the Machine" or the raw power of "Idle Hands". The songs are very well-written as well, take for example "The Mystery of One Spirit"- "Inspiration is the light of the mind- Revelation- the meaning behind". These lyrics seem to be written from the furthest depths of the mind; they entrap you and won't let you go. They just leave you thinking: How the hell did they write that? // 10

Overall Impression: This is my favorite c.d., and I've had it for a year now. That's making a statement. My favorite song on the album has to be the crash course in inspirational death metal "Mystery of One Spirit". Pink Floyd must feel proud to have had such an incredible cover of their song "Welcome to the Machine". "Destroyer of Senses" is proof that you don't need to play poorly to play a heavy guitar riff. "Idle Hands" is the greatest ending to a song, but don't get me wrong the whole song is great, I don't simply just wish for the end. When I listen to this c.d. and it ends, I simply press the "play" button again. It is truly an incredible c.d., and it takes that to beat "Master of Puppets" for the spot of my favorite c.d. Buy this, even if you don't like metal, you need to hear this no matter who you are. // 10

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overall: 8
The Art Of Balance Reviewed by: Preszombie, on september 20, 2004
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: First off, I'd like to say that the sound on this album is simply amazing. Every song had an epic feel to it. It reminds me of earlier Metallica albums where you can tell that each song is just as important and great sounding as the others. The guitar-work is definately the highlight of this band. Matt and Jon are amazing guitarists. Simple. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrics on some songs were great while on some others they were rather average. Destroyer of Senses and The Art of Balance have the best lyrics by far. 2 songs on the album are instrumental only. I haven't payed enough attention to the lyrics though, because in some parts it definately gets tosses to the side to allow for fancy guitar-work. // 6

Overall Impression: Overall I really like this album. The most impressive songs would be Destroyer Of Senses, Casting Shade, Thoughts Without Words and Art Of Balance. This is the first Shadows Fall album I've listened to and I must say that I'm rather impressed. I usually listen to Metallica, Tool, Slipknot or Godsmack and this album certaintly falls under the "Metallica" category when it comes to which of those Shadows Fall sounds more like. // 8

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overall: 10
The Art Of Balance Reviewed by: neuroplay.com, on march 07, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Shadows Fall is simply amazing. Jonathan Donais and Matthew Bachand are just amazing guitarists, with blazing riffs and smooth speeding solos. Their sound is heavy and fast in songs like 'Destroyer Of Senses' and just heavy in songs like 'The Idiot Box'. Every song is great, especially 'Thoughts Without Words' and the cover 'Welcome To The Machine'. Shadows Fall takes the normal metal expectations and blows them up into unbelievable songs. With double bass that last through almost full songs, minutes of amazing solos per song, and the metal singing/'screaming' produced by Brian Fair is amazing. // 10

Lyrics: I don't think Brian tried as much in this album as in Of One Blood. Their still good lyrics, but not as great as the previous songs. Compared to most metal singers with lines like 'I'm going to kill my mom, then I'll kill tom' the lyrics are amazing. In some songs 'Stepping Outside The Circle'the lyrics and music aren't in the best compliance, but for the complexity of metal music, Brian does an amazing job. Brian's 'screaming' is great and is normal singing voice is very good also. On some of the tracks I think Matthew or Jonathan sings some, and if it is them, they sound pretty good too. // 10

Overall Impression: Some people may say that all metal sounds the same and the bands are all copies of eachother, but if you really take the time to listen to metal and some of the better bands, not the infamous ones, you understand the variation and complexity of the style. The songs that make this album are 'Thoughts Without Words', 'Welcome To The Machine', 'The Idiot Box' and 'The Art Of Balance'. The instrumentals are great songs as well. This album is one of my favorites, and if you're into metal, I recommend you buy this. // 10

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overall: 10
The Art Of Balance Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 05, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: In music today, Shadows fall are among the best metal bands. They are honest, kick-ass heavy metal music. The sound of Shadows Fall comes from it's 5, very talented members. johnathan and matt, who are their guitar players, produce searing, virtuoso-like riffs that are simply incredible. Jason, the drummer holds down the rythm section with incredible double bass drum action, as well as the bassist, paul who adds his unique low end playing to the mix. Then, there is the master screamer himself, brian, who's voice alters from heavy metal scream, to light melodic vocals and still keeps everything together. Sound gets 5. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrically, Brian writes songs that match the music perfectly. With his singing/screaming, it blends perfectly. You have to give credit to Matt and Jon to, for adding their vocals to such songs as The Art Of Balance. They have quite a vocal talent themselves. Lyrics get 5! // 10

Overall Impression: Compared to their other albums (Of One Blood, War Within, Somber Eyes To The Sky) The Art Of Balance is right up there, if not above the others. It's a roller coaster of modern da heavy metal that I completely rmend to anyone. If it were ever stolen or lost, I would, of course, buy it again. The Art Of Balnce gets 5. // 10

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overall: 10
The Art Of Balance Reviewed by: guitarman47, on january 16, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is probably their best CD. I love the sound of Matt and Jon's amps and I was amazed that they actually just run through the loop on a JCM. I love how they did 2 acoustic instrumentals in between like Killswitch did on "The End Of Heartache." // 10

Lyrics: Lyrics are very creative. Like in "Destroyer Of Senses," Brian Fair is talking about what alchol does to the system ("The sweet taste of self-destruction") all the lyrics fit. Brian Fair is a great singer and I'm glad Matt and Jon are singing alot on this one 'cause they sound awesome. // 10

Overall Impression: This and the war within are definetly their best cd's. It's hard to pick the best song on here. My 3 favorites are "Idle Hands," "The Art Of Balance" and "A Fire In Babylon." I actually didn't really like their cover of "Welcome To The Machine." That cover is pretty much the only flaw on the disc. I would die if this was lost or stolen because this is such a great album. If you get the chance, go see them live. If you think they sound great on CD's, you have no idea how awesome they are live. // 10

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overall: 10
The Art Of Balance Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 04, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Shadows Fall is an awesome American Metal band I ever heard. They are one of the the best Universal Metals bands like Lamb of God that are very gifted and talented in their instrumental works. The style combines from mostly American Death Metal to old school Thrash Metal and sometimes add some Gothenburg (Swedish melodic death metal) riffing. The two amazing guitarist Matt Bachand and Jon Donais are very talented Metal guitarist. The riffs are very crunchy and and the riff shows both brutality and melody, Their riffs are often heard in both Death Metal and Thrash Metal music. The guitar solo done by Jon Donais is amazing, it mixes shredding solos and blues solo with a lot of emotion. I mostly appriciate the guitar work and drum works. Also the drummer Jason Bittner is a new drummer from New York and is a amazing drummer, he knows how to play Metal music very well and his drumming skill is very fast, intense, and accurate. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics is unbelievably well written, it's very poetic, descriptive, and creative. Their lyrics talk about stuggle of alchol abuse, death, unity, and society, which explain throughly in different ways. The vocals skills have different tone and each members does a different type of vocals, It goes from very growly/harsh to raspy clean singing. Matt Bachand does very low Death Growl often heard in Brutal Death Metal of NYDM (New York death metal) style, Jon Donais does a Death/Black Grindcore like scream often heard in FLDM (Florida death metal) style. Brian Fair has nice raspy voice which again often heard in Thrash Metal and his energetic growl also makes it sound Melodic Death Metal. // 10

Overall Impression: Shadows Fall has been a awesome Universal Metal bands I know, they have been around for a long time playing a very good styles of Metal music. This album stands out a lot because they are very gifted and talented Metal band in history, and they do remind of a lot bands like Suffocation, Perpetual Doom, Hate Eternal, Immolation, Vital Remains, Overkill, Nuclear Assault, At The Gates, In Flames, Soilwork, and a lot more. // 10

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