Shadowsphere - Inferno
3 March 2012

01. Inferno (Intro)
02. Within The Serpent's Grasp
03. Sworn Enemy
04. Dead Behind My Eyes
05. Suicide Reign Of Salvation
06. Bullet Train
07. The Hurtlocker
08. Firewalker
09. Gehenna
10. Screaming Silence
11. Alone At The End Of The World
    1 - Last Season Of Man
    2 - Drowning On Dry Land
    3 - Closure

There's a problem with a lot of melodeath it seems; it just lacks that punch. A lot of times, it almost seems inappropriate to slap that "death" suffix in there based on the vocals alone. Then there bands like Shadowsphere; a nifty little mix of uber-melodic Gothenburg, thrash and a touch of metalcore that walks that line where "mellow" and "death" meet.

The riffs are great, for the most part; think maybe some older Arch Enemy, a touch or two of Dark Tranquillity, and some of those shamefully awesome epic leads that can be heard from As I Lay Dying when they're in those brief, infrequent lapses of quality. It's all catchy and moving, but not totally fresh. What really pushes Inferno from "ok" to "really solid" is the vocals of Paulo Goncalves. He crosses between some convincing, although fairly typical death growls to that reckless, not-giving-a-single-shit barking along the lines of Warbringer's John Kevill. Even when there is those modern metalcore melodic singing segments, Paulo still manages to retain a nice amount of grit to his voice. The varied vocal approach offers a great balance between safe, comfortable melodeath, and some more edgy, modern thrash sounds.

Without those wild vocals lying over top, Inferno would probably come across as a bit restrained and formulaic at many parts. That's where the weak spot is. In many segments, the quality of this album seems to hinge almost entirely on what the vocalist is doing. The guitar work is nicely put together, and executed in an aggressive, catchy fashion, but it is not always the most memorable. While this does offer to show how Shadowsphere is a tight band, to be valued as a whole rather than its individual parts, it sometimes has the opposite effect; most notably the two tracks containing polished female singing, which sound horribly out of place.

Ignore the inconsistencies; just crank it up and enjoy the whole picture - Inferno is an album best left far away from the magnifying glass.

Band profile: Shadowsphere
Album: Inferno


Written on 03.07.2012 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››


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BloodTears - 03.07.2012 at 12:45  
It's a cool album but I must admit that I preferred their older material.

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