Threads Of Life Review

artist: Shadows Fall date: 06/15/2007 category: compact discs
Shadows Fall: Threads Of Life
Release Date: Apr 3, 2007
Label: Roadrunner
Genres: Heavy Metal, Death Metal/Black Metal, Thrash
Number Of Tracks: 11
Shadows Fall looks back across the divide like a warlord and responds to the gauntlet being thrown down in the heavy metal world with Threads Of Life.
 Sound: 9.8
 Lyrics: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.8
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reviews (4) 40 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Threads Of Life Reviewed by: Newbs28, on june 15, 2007
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 10
Threads Of Life Reviewed by: XcoreBluesMan, on april 10, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ever since their debut release Somber Eyes To The Sky, Shadows Fall has been a band focused on fusing the sounds of metal, hardcore, rock, and thrash into their own sound. As line ups have changed and albums have been produced, the band has remained rooted in their desire to produce their own fusion of metal and rock. The Art of Balance showed that they could master melody and brutality while The War Within focused on pummeling the listener with old school thrash reminiscent to early Metallica. Fallout From The War was a great addition to War Within and brought the sound of The Art of Balance back. After finishing their long career with Century Media, they moved to Atlantic and produced their latest record Threads Of Life. Some devote Shadows Fall fans like myself cringed at the thought of working with Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Stone Sour, Rush) because there is always the fear of "selling out" especially with the fact that Nick is focused more in the production of rock. After listening to Threads of Life those fears can be pushed aside. Yes there is some change in the Shadows Fall sound but it's more of a natural evolution than a forced change. There are some classic sounding Shads songs like Failure of the Devout along with some more mellow songs like Another Hero Lost. People may be somewhat dissapointed if they are looking for another War Within for Threads is more like The Art of Balance than it's predecessor. Unlike The Art of Balance, Jason Bittner has a significantly drum sound and Brian Fair sings some instead of his trademark growl. In certain songs especially Redemption he does a good job harmonizing with Matt Bachand. Jon Donais's leads are blistering as usual and you can tell that he is highly influenced by Zakk Wylde even though it never interferes with originality. Occasionally an acoustic interlude will be included like previous albums and these once again fail to dissapoint. One thing that should be mentioned is in songs like Forevermore you can hear the great bass work by Paul Romanko which can be heard in other releases. In one of their "Webisodes" Paul mentioned he had to push making his bass tracks as perfect as possible because Nick is in fact a bass player himeself. Overall Threads of Life is able to encompass all the sounds that Shadows Fall have been so passionate about pursuing with a great preduction value on top of that. // 10

Lyrics: Although metal has been put down as having meaningless lyrics by some, bands of late have especially emphasized that metal is not just about Satanism or violence. That doesn't mean those lyrics aren't fun to listen to, they just start to lose credibility as more of the same lyrically is produced. The lyrics on Threads of Life do not seem particularly new for Shads but the lyrics do fit with the album. The lyrics are somewhat dark and talk about overcoming oppresion and the likes, nothing really new. As in previous Shadows Fall albums the delivery of the lyrics is really what distinguishes them from other bands. I guess it's kind of like the way good punk bands deliver their lyrics (not talking about the massive amount of fodder labeled as "punk" nowadays) it's the passionate grit of the vocals that captivates. Brian Fair may not be considered the best metal vocalist by some but he has a great ability to put a feeling on the vocals like he's straining his lung capacity to deliver the vocals. His vocals are a personal preference because I know plenty of people who are not a fan of his vocals. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall Threads of Life is a great purchase for any metal or hard rock fan. I know some people (especially some kids) will be turned off by some of the melodicism because they want balls out heaviness all the time. As an experienced metal listener and musician, the melodicism is extremely welcome especially since War Within felt like they were trying to hard to be "heavy." The last couple years have been great years for metal and this is album is no exception. I would proclaim that this has the potential to be a classic and is by far their best album to date. I feel extremely lucky to live in Western Massachusetts where several great bands have risen fairly recently. I guess one could call this Shads Sacrament if you are going to compare this album to any recent releases. I extremely recommend listening to this album, it will not dissapoint. I know I am giving this all 10's but I feel it truly deserves it. If it was stolen/lost I would definitely go out and buy it again. And if your wondering I pre-ordered this album and I'm not reviewing a bootleg downloaded from Limewire so it is the legit record that was reviewed. // 10

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overall: 9
Threads Of Life Reviewed by:, on april 10, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Anyone who thought Shadows Fall would go more mainstream on their major label debut will be mistaken after hearing Threads of Life. The sound of this album is very heavy and high-energy along with being well produced. Of course, the power ballad "Another Hero Lost" is a track that may cause some fans to cry sell-out. When I myself first heard the acoustic opening of the song I was praying it was an instrumental. Shadows Fall has flirted with ballads before, but never one this soft. However, after hearing the song all the way through I was convinced, thanks to the lead work of Jon Donais, that it is a good change of pace and a great song on the album. Donais' leads on this album are definately the highlight on Threads of Life. // 10

Lyrics: Brian Fair does a lot of actual singing on this album. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of the screams we all know and love, but more clean style vocals. This is most evident on "Another Hero Lost," which I reacted to the same way as when I heard James Hetfield's vocals on "Nothing Else Matters" for the first time. I was frightened at first but then surprised at how good his "clean" voice sounds. Brian and Matt's clean vocals are good because they add another dimension to the sound of the band. Let's face it, some metal bands get a little boring with nothing but monotone screaming vocals. The lyrics themselves are consistent with Brian Fair's lyrics on the previous albums. Mostly about internal struggles and what not. "Another Hero Lost" is about his cousin who died in Iraq and left a son behind. To tell the truth, I usually can't understand too much of what he's saying nor do I really care because I don't listen to heavy metal to be inspired lyrically. // 8

Overall Impression: I'll go out on a limb and say that this is probably one of the better metal albums you are going to see this year. I may be a little biased because I love great guitar solos in my metal but I would say this album is better than any Killswitch Engage or Lamb of God major label album. I know some will disagree with that but that's just my opinion. I know you all think "Another Hero Lost" is my favorite song on the album because that's the only one I've talked about but it's not. It's one of the better ones though. Other great ones are the first single "Redemption," which is nice and catchy yet still heavy; "Burning the Lives" and "Storm Winds" grab you by the balls and don't let go; "Final Call" wakes you up after the ballad and makes you drop your lighter and continue pumping your fist; "The Great Collapse" is another great but too short instrumental much like "Casting Shade" and "Prelude to Disaster" from Art of Balance; "Forevermore" is a great closing track with a awesome acoustic part in it. Overall, I love the heaviness of the album. I love the playing of Matt and Jon. The solos are tremendous. Great bass, drums, singing, etc. Not much I don't like. I would buy it again if it were stolen or lost. Seriously just give it a listen. If you like Shadows Fall you've probably heard it already. If you haven't heard much Shadows Fall but are interested, this may be a good place to start and where have you been? // 9

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overall: 9.3
Threads Of Life Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 10, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album is no other shadows fall album. it's much softer, more singing in it. And I'm a big fan of Brians screaming but I also like softer music too so this album just fits my needs. Let me just say the guitar work is abolutley amazing, like in the song "Risen" it proves how good jonathan and matt are and what there capable of. I also love the chorus in "redemption" it's amazing, as so is the whole album. You can't really hear the bass in it. The drusm are amazing like usual, Jason Bitner is an amazing drummer. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are amazing on this album. Brian is an amazing vocalists, so is jonathan donais. Brian has an amazing singing skill, he can do the low death grunt like heard on older albums and the regular scream which is amazing and he can sing well too. The only thing missing is the screaming, he does it very little in this album. And I'm sure that everyone will miss it. It's the biggest thing about them that they had and now they don't have it. // 9

Overall Impression: Shadows Fall are definetely up there in the music business. There capable of so much and are one of the greatest bands of all time. There young too so I can't imagine what they're gonna do in the future. Most likely be amazing albums. The only thing I don't like about it, is that it's a lot softer than what they usually sound like. But what I love is that they prove there not all about hate and screaming and have a softer side and prove there guitar skills in other ways. And I downloaded it so if it were stolen I have it on my computer so I can get it back easily. // 10

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