Sound — 10
I was first introduced to this album by one of my friends who said "This album could possibly be as good as Master of Puppets." I did not believe him for a second until I listened to it myself. I admit it is nothing compared to MoP, but it is pretty damn good. The solos and main opening riffs on every song just make my jaw drop. The tapping in Redemption for the solo was right on and it was awesome with the duel guitar playing as well through out the whole album. It was also cool to hear Shadows Fall produce a calm song, being Another Hero Lost. Great heavy sound for almost every song in the album. Every riff could easily be a fight riff because of how fast and powerful they are. Redemption - Best opening riff of the whole album. Jonathan Donais and Matt Bachand (guitarists) must have had a blast playing this song because it is absolutely genius. Burning The Lives - The druming from Jason Bittner on this song is wicked fast and it gives this song a killer beat. Storm Winds - The opening riff in this song is extremly fast, but it is too quiet... they should have amped that riff up because it is so complex that the drums and back up guitar cover it up. Failure Of The Devout - The chorus of this song is so powerful and fast that it is probably one of the fastest chorus' in the album. Great singing by Fair, his yelling/screaming makes this song awesomely strong and makes me want to headbang everytime I hear it. Venomous - The verses in this song were very well put together. Between the drumming and guitars, they really evened it out well. The chorus' lyrics are great. "Suddenly it seems to me, that I am my own worst enemy." Another Hero Lost - The first time I heard this song, I thought that it was not Shadows Fall. It had such a different sound to what I previously listened to from these guys, but I was impressed. The lyrics in this song stand out to me the most because of how well they flow with the instrumentals in the background. Brain Fair showed everyone that he is not just a screamer with this album and this song is one of the main reasons for it. Final Call - Great transition between this song and Another Hero Lost. The semi soft lyrics at the beginning then changing right when the chorus hit was very interesting. This is the one song that I am able to recognize and hear the bass during the chorus and Paul Romanko is just going at it. I am not quite sure if he is using a pick or not but it sounds heavy and perfect for the song. The interlude in this song was also very interesting to hear because it brought me back to the song The Light That Blinds with it's slow start. It works really well for these guys to have one or two songs in their albums to have a slow transition. Dread Uprising - Automatically one of the heaviest songs on the album. Makes me want to headbang throughout the whole song. The Great Collapse - Very strange having an interlude with only two songs left... but whatever works for them. Just Another Nightmare - Very powerful intro and this power continues throughout the whole song. With the backup vocals yelling "THIS... CAN... NOT BE", it adds more power to this song and Fair does yet another superub job at singing his throat out along with his heart. Forevermore - Awesome ending for a great album. The opening riff is jawdropping and with the mini solo going with it, this song should easily be their next single. The open notes going with Brian's vocals also set up a huge ending to this album. The ending transitions from slow acoustics to their usuall heavyness.
Lyrics — 9
From past Shadows Fall ablums, this one has taken a much more meaningful course. The lyrics actually have a story behind every song in this album. Brian Fair's vocals fit perfectly into all of the songs. He can scream one minute and sing normally in a the next and that is pretty awesome. I was suprised when I heard the Another Hero Lost track when it was calm and moody. It showed me that Fair can sing calm for an entire track also. Overall, a much needed improvement on the lyrics in this album then previous ones in my mind.
Overall Impression — 10
It seems like Shadows Fall has finally found their step again. This album could top The War Within, but if it does not, it is definetly a high quality album from these guys. Redemption, Forevermore and Final Call are songs that stand out to me the most because of just how insanely crazy and difficult the riffs sound. There is absoultely nothing that I hate about this album. I could listen to every song for hours on end and would never be bored. If it were stolen... God forbid... I would automatically go back and buy it. If you have been a fan of Shadows Fall or just heard of these guys from reading this review... you should love this album.