Shadows Fall - Of One Blood review
|Album:||Of One Blood|
01. Pain Glass Vision
02. Crushing Belial
03. Of One Blood
04. The First Noble Truth
06. Root Bound Apollo
07. Revel In My Loss
09. To Ashes
In spite of being among the most hailed bands of the recent new wave of American Metal and considered as one of its pioneers, Shadows Fall didn't exactly stand out that much when they first started. In fact, "Somber Eyes To The Sky" was pretty generic in its range, hardly ever leaving the Melodic Death Metal roots it's centered on. "Of One Blood," the follow up, reveals, however, an interesting growth of influences; it seems to have been, in many ways, the laboratory Shadows Fall used to compress all their ideas before they went on to make a more balanced and effective album.
This album marks the arrival of vocalist Brian Fair, which can arguably be considered as one of the reasons for the improvement. His style is different from Phil Labonte's adaptation and new ideas are always keys to success. In "Of One Blood" Shadows Fall clearly incorporate new Hardcore and Thrash characteristics, which broadened their sense of variation but didn't compromised their direct song writing; it still allows some moments of melodic emphasis, even more so than previously, actually.
However "Of One Blood" seems to be the result of someone following a complicated recipe with lots of ingredients, which are all here, but not nailing the final result - meaning that despite all the breakdowns, A-rate solos and different riffs, it still doesn't grab the listener as well as the following releases do.
Basically the style is all here, for me it's just the effectiveness of the content that needed to be worked on. I think I'd have probably given this a bit more, had I reviewed it back in 2000, but now Shadows Fall have evolved, I have evolved, and even though I can still recognize the potential this has, the standards are just higher. This was the bridge in their career though, and an example for many other new bands that wanted a new direction and needed it to be pointed out by someone else.
|Chapter two to the epic story that is Shadows Fall. This album is their first release on legendary record label Century Media, but the lineup for this album has been changed slightly: enter Brian Fair. After his previous hardcore band "Overcast" had broken up, he was invited to join Shadows Fall and replace previous vocalist, Phil Labonte, who would go on to form All That Remains. Brian, being a much more unique and diverse vocalist, proved to be a welcome addition to the band, and Matt Bachand was reported to have said "we've finally got our sound." This is Of One Blood.
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