Rating:
9.5
Shadows Fall - The War Within
21 September 2004


01. The Light That Blinds
02. Enlightened by The Cold
03. Act Of Contrition
04. What Drives The Weak
05. Stillness
06. Inspiration On Demand
07. The Power Of I And I
08. Ghosts Of Past Failure
09. Eternity is Within
10. Those Who Can Not Speak


The War Within, is what is arguably Shadows Fall's "breakthrough album" to the mainstream media. Regardless of that, this album still kicks some major ass. Unlike their previous release, however, this album takes a much larger step in the technical performance area. It is riddled with intricate riffs, blistering guitar work, and interesting musical switches. It is a ten track roller coaster of musical insanity. It really is like a war inside of your head, so get ready to defend against this siege of non-stop technical assault, get ready to wage "The War Within."

This opens up with one of the best introductions I have ever heard, I could only name a few other openers that I could honestly say match the quality of how this album begins. "The Light That Blinds" reminds one of Metallica's 'Fight Fire with Fire.' It uses a nice mellow classical riff, constantly lulling you deeper and deeper into a relaxed state, then suddenly, BLAM!! you're kicked right the fuck out of your nice happy land of rainbows and sunshine and right into a blistering hot Shadows Fall leadline. But enough about one song, let's talk about the album. The vocals on this album are good, but I feel do not live up to the potential of their previous release.

The lyrics generally tend to take a more personal outlook on things, unlike past songs, which were seen as somewhat political. Needless to say Brian Fair is still a great lyricist, for example, on the song those who cannot speak, there is the line "Instinct urges on as the mind creates its own obstacles, waging internal war between objects and the abstract."

Drumming on this album is of course insane, because Bittner is back and he's blowing your brains out with his double bass and cymbal work. The guitar on this album is insane as well, never failing to disappoint, Bachand and Donais deliver some of their best riffs to yet surface, such as 'The Power of I and I', 'Enlightened By the Cold', and 'The Light That Blinds.' The Bass for this album is actually noticeable as well, though still not great.

As much as I love this album, however, I have to say it is the beginning of their decline. This album is like Metallica's ".....And Justice For All...." in the respect that it's great, I fuckin' love it, yet is it like their previous release? No. Will they ever be as good again? Once more, the answer is no. So get ready to throw in Shadows Fall's last great and unique album, because I got news for ya kids, everything after this is just mediocre.

Album Highlights: The light That Blinds, Act of Contrition, The Power of I and I, Those who Cannot Speak.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 10


Band profile: Shadows Fall
Album: The War Within


 


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.

Staff review by
jupitreas

Rating:
9.0
Oh my! This here is easily one of the best albums of the year. This makes me extremely happy as finally, a relatively 'new' band is capable of gaining my attention and producing some great music.

As most of our readers probably know, Shadows Fall is part of this whole new wave of American bands which mix the melo-death aesthetic with metalcore and hardcore, as well as a smidgen of alternative (think Killswitch Engage or Chimaira). The result is much heavier and more aggressive than the Gothenburg sound, and also contains much more attitude. Shadows Fall itself; however, sounds a lot more thrashy than other bands of this genre. You can also find a lot of Machine Head and Death influences here, and that is definitely not a bad thing. Overall, I think the band does an exceptionally good job of being both aware of the classical metal formulas as well as being able to venture into modern metal territory, and all this with great grace and no cringe-inducing moments whatsoever!

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published 28.09.2004 | Comments (0)



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Katatronik - 17.06.2007 at 14:42  
Same as "The Art Of Balance", good band and another good album, but not an amazing one in my opinion... Some tracks are very good indeed
Christ_13 - 17.06.2007 at 19:03  
9,5??? pufffffffffffff.. you can't be serious.. lol
V For Vitus - 01.07.2007 at 04:51  
They have the worst videos and Inspiration on Demand is proof of this.
legend_destroyer - 01.07.2007 at 05:04  
9.5 is a little high for this album, don't get me wrong it still kicks more ass than a barrel full of chinese fighting hermaphrodites, but I would still only give it a 9.
Syk - 01.07.2007 at 07:29  
This album is so fucking overrated, I don't see how anyone could give it more than an 8 unless it was their first metal album or something. 10 for originality is just not right at all.

The album opening is contrived, even the band said they were just doing what was on Ride the Lightning. Sure it was kind of new for 1984 metal, but now? Nuh. There are one or two songs I haven't heard but my favourites by far are What Drives the Weak and Stillness for their guitar riffs. Overall, 5/10 from me

Oh yeah Arian, it's ...And Justice for All, just three dots
Belphegore - 09.11.2007 at 12:29  
8.0\10.0
Arian Totalis - 13.11.2007 at 01:32  
Written by Syk on 01.07.2007 at 07:29

This album is so fucking overrated, I don't see how anyone could give it more than an 8 unless it was their first metal album or something. 10 for originality is just not right at all.

The album opening is contrived, even the band said they were just doing what was on Ride the Lightning. Sure it was kind of new for 1984 metal, but now? Nuh. There are one or two songs I haven't heard but my favourites by far are What Drives the Weak and Stillness for their guitar riffs. Overall, 5/10 from me

Oh yeah Arian, it's ...And Justice for All, just three dots

It might have been just a bit overated when it was first released, but by now all the trendy kids have forgotten about this quality piece of material.

and even though metallica influenced them, that doesn't mean that they stole it. I would actually say that the opening to "The light that blinds" is better than "Fight fire with fire," because it's more intricate and I feel it more. Metallica is overated too, especially that song.....

and I fail to see what the fuck the number of dots in an album title has to do with the review.

anyway, thankyou for your constructive critisism. Remember, opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one.
ThunderAxe1989 - 15.11.2008 at 03:43  
Great album
The "Inspiration On Demand" video makes no sense to me.

ahhhh and "The Power Of I And I" ......like they trying to connect with the Caribbean Metallers like myself (though only the rastas really talk like that).
Uirapuru - 31.03.2009 at 12:18  
Man!! whats with that amazing riffs on ''The Power Of I and I''!!! Amazing, and that solo, i wasn't expecting all this.
'' The Art Of Balance'' is their best album, but the best song is in this album.
Arian Totalis - 13.11.2009 at 03:10  
Written by BoxCar Willy on 12.11.2009 at 21:12

Hey Arian its better than your album!!!

I don't know what you mean by "your" album. But if you're talking about The Art of Balance, then I guess that's all a matter of preference. However, I just don't think that judging by the evaluative standard that I place on reviews that it was quite as good. Anywho, if you post, please be more productive, even if you find it hard, please try.

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