When it comes to Shadows Fall…up until “Retribution” I really haven’t had much to do with them. I felt like their sound was all over the place and they were making to many different kinds of music on each album. Withstanding, I always thought they were a good band with a lot of talent and some really bitchin’ songs but I never felt like they could put together an album that I would want to sit down and listen to repeatedly. That all changed when they released Retribution. If I were to have made you a Top 10 of 2009 list I would have had it in my top three without even considering anything else; I mean, I did buy it on vinyl recently. I was skeptical to say the least when I first learned about the new album “Fire From the Sky” because it is not a stretch to think that a band can release a killer album and then fall down into old routines.
If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or check out my Last.Fm you will see that Fire From The Sky has essentially been dominating me since I got the promo last Friday. After numerous listens I can safely tell you that I think it is just as good if not better than Retribution. From the opening track “The Unknown” which is that of a thrash metal fucking powerhouse and the second single, down to the first single and title track “Fire From The Sky” that just grows and grows until it culminates into a Shads classic, the album is hit after hit. From the struggles of every day life and the end of the world in songs like “The Unknown” and “Save Your Soul” to being inspired by poet T.S. Eliot’s famous poem “The Waste Land” in the song aptly titled, “The Wasteland” this album covers many lyrical themes and aspects of the world.
Brian Fair sounds amazing on Fire From the Sky, much like he did on Retribution. His rough, scratchy yells, clean vocals, and guttoral growls sound better than anything he has done in his career. His vocal performances might be the most inspiring part of Shads on the last two albums. He has developed so well as a vocalist, frontman, and singer. That is one of the main reasons I couldn’t get into them in the past, Fair just couldn’t get the job down for me. A long with Matt Bachand on vocals and Jonathan Donais doing backing vocals, the band can harmonize and create a depth to their albums that not many bands of the metalcore(or as I refer to shads, New Wave Of American Heavy Metal) genre can do.
If you are a fan of Shadows Fall then you are going to love this album. All the power and energy has been carried over from Retribution. The sound has been polished up and tweaked to perfection to create what could be alongside Retribution the top two albums in the bands history. Shadows Fall have announced themselves as one of the top metal bands ALIVE today. I for one know that this album will be on my top albums list for months to come.