Rating:
10
Shadows Fall - The Art Of Balance
2002


01. Idle Hands
02. Thoughts Without Words
03. Destroyer Of Senses
04. Casting Shade
05. Stepping Outside The Circle
06. The Art Of Balance
07. Mystery Of One Spirit
08. The Idiot Box
09. Prelude To Disaster
10. A Fire In Babylon
11. Welcome To The Machine [Pink Floyd cover]


There are few bands that make such progressive steps in musicianship as Shadows Fall per album. Their first album was a melodic death metal classic. Their second album saw a change in sound and a beginning in innovation, while still melo-death incorporated hardcore influences. Yet this third album is considered by many a fan to be the masterpiece of this dynamic and unique band. This album is by far their peak in performance, and truly earns it's title, the art of balance. This is perhaps the most creative and original albums to have been released in the last five years. With a brand new step in the direction of originality and ingenuity, this is part three, and possibly the greatest part, of the history of Shadows Fall. You are about to learn the Art of Balance.

The reason why the title of this album is so fitting, is because they seem to have found a perfection in the balance between melody and brutality. Brian Fair is a great attribution to this effect. On songs such as 'Thoughts Without Words' and 'A Fire in Babylon', this is well exemplified. What's more, Matt Bachand is well known for having a very good death growl, this too helped to show the perfection in this album.

Instrumentally this album is simply amazing. The intro to the song 'A Fire in Babylon', for example, starts off with a melodic yet powerful intro. There are guitars playing in harmony with a crushing rhythm behind them, when it goes to harsh and heavy riff, that song is simply amazing. I feel that overall the guitar is perfect in this album. The solo work doesn't sound recycled, but remains original yet still crazy. The lead lines are played well and range from quick and aggressive to slow and beautiful. The rhythm is equally impressive, locking into every root note played and never letting up, with a diverse variety of chords, and is undeniably catchy.

The drums are ungodly on this record. This album is the entrance of the amazing drummer Jason Bittner, he is nothing short of mind blowing with his combination of double bass and cymbals work. he also has fills more crazy than previous drummer Dave Germain, and seems to always know when to hit the snare.

Lastly, the lyrics in this album are deep, diverse, and just orgasmic. If you are a spiritualist, then you no doubt would love the lyrics to the song 'The Mystery of one Spirit.' It is a calling to the occult and ways of spiritual growth. There are also many political stances taken in this album as well, as seen in songs such as 'The Idiot Box' and 'The Art of Balance'. And lastly, people can personally identify with these lyrics, as seen in such songs as 'Idle Hands' and 'Thoughts Without Words'.

This album deserves a ten, plain and simple, if you haven't listened to it, give it a chance, and maybe you'll learn about "The Art of Balance."

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 10


Band profile: Shadows Fall
Album: The Art Of Balance


 


written by Arian Totalis | 17.06.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
!J.O.O.E.!

Rating:
9.0
With Metalcore rapidly becoming the new Nu-Metal, many bands are going to find themselves out in the cold and with bad reputations to boot. Shadows Fall, however, are not just going to survive this revolution but are going to thrive and become bigger and better than ever before much to the envy of its rivals.

This is probably Shadows Fall's biggest and most accomplished release to date combining a much more melodic combination of Thrash and Melodeath to amazing effect. There are few bands nowadays that can mix aggression and melody so successfully without falling into this tragic, generic metalcore sound which is so often replicated nowadays.

Read more ››
published 07.10.2005 | Comments (10)



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Katatronik - 17.06.2007 at 14:40  
Not my favourite band and not my favourite album, though this is a good one IMO... The rating is too high, good review anyway...
Christ_13 - 17.06.2007 at 19:06  
no, it's in this one you can't be serious.. 10? how can it be?
Arian Totalis - 18.06.2007 at 06:50  
Yeah guys I know it seems far fetched, but I'm Kinda fanboyish with this album and the one after.
V For Vitus - 01.07.2007 at 04:37  
I could never get into this album I listened to it on the bus to school for a week.Ive never dug the whole metalcore scene you know?
legend_destroyer - 01.07.2007 at 05:02  
dude honestly this is the best freaking album, ever. there is no metal album ever relased that has been better than this. Anyone who disagrees personally should have a full fromntal labotomy, if they don't have the money I will personally hunt them downand administer it myself.
the above paragraph should not be taken serious other than the fact that The art of Balance is the best album ever released.
ThunderAxe1989 - 15.11.2008 at 03:39  
I DESPISE Metalcore, but I like these guys. They're not generic.
I remember when I was 14, I was hooked to this album!
I still think it's a great listen
Arian Totalis - 13.11.2009 at 03:13  
Written by BoxCar Willy on 12.11.2009 at 21:19

This album is good but threads of life is better... by a tad.

XD are you fucking kidding me?! like I said, I guess it's a matter of personal preference but wow. That's one I never thought I would hear.

I mean, the guitar work on this album is both insanly catchy and technical, the solos seem to hold more realevency to what is happening in the songs, stylistically this album is alot more diverse AND raw, and somehow manages to put in some of the best harmonies i've ever heard. Threads of life was a push by Atlantic/Roadrunner records to get airplay and money, and has alot of 'bla' musical aspects. Sorry man, but that's just facts.

XD
BoxCar Willy - 13.11.2009 at 17:32  
The threads of life album has some of their best music and I respect that you think the art of balance is better it is pretty close but i personally like threads of life better.
BoxCar Willy - 27.11.2009 at 19:37  
This album is an 8 or 8.5 not a ten

edit: this album truly is a 10
Arian Totalis - 27.11.2009 at 20:19  
Now I agree. But back then I was a little more of a fan boy. I have a friend that would still argue it as 10 worthy to this day.
BoxCar Willy - 05.11.2011 at 16:56  
Written by BoxCar Willy on 13.11.2009 at 17:32

The threads of life album has some of their best music and I respect that you think the art of balance is better it is pretty close but i personally like threads of life better.

Man I was Fucking Dumb back then
BoxCar Willy - 05.11.2011 at 16:58  
Written by BoxCar Willy on 13.11.2009 at 17:32

The threads of life album has some of their best music and I respect that you think the art of balance is better it is pretty close but i personally like threads of life better.

DUMD DUMB DUMB!!!!!! threads of life sucks. I cant believe i said that
snake? snaaaake! - 19.02.2012 at 14:37  
Written by BoxCar Willy on 05.11.2011 at 16:58


DUMD DUMB DUMB!!!!!! threads of life sucks. I cant believe i said that


You care way too much about what other people think.
BoxCar Willy - 19.02.2012 at 16:24  
Written by snake? snaaaake! on 19.02.2012 at 14:37

Written by BoxCar Willy on 05.11.2011 at 16:58


DUMD DUMB DUMB!!!!!! threads of life sucks. I cant believe i said that


You care way too much about what other people think.

True


I just hate looking like an idiot...

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