Monday, October 4, 2004 @ 9:18 PM
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Jesus God, this album smacks your ass harder than an angry Norwegian S & M chick with a bullwhip and displaced hostility. Shadows Fall’s latest release, The War Within, is the metal album we’ve all been screaming for, and absolutely a contender for best album of 2004.
Are you still mourning over the loss of Pantera? Are you irritated that Metallica has forgotten they’re a metal band? Are you miffed that Dave Mustaine is the only real member of Megadeth? Do you yearn for the days of nitrous guitar solos and wicked noodling? Drop your Prozac, cancel your shrink appointments and go get The War Within right now.
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From start to finish, the CD explodes with violent riffage from Jonathan Donais and Matthew Blanchard, surprising yet appropriate changes, frightfully tight rhythm courtesy of Paul Romanko and Jason Bittner, intelligent lyrics and (gasp!) coherent metal vocals from of the most easily recognizable frontmen, Brian Fair! The production is mint – full and voluminous, even on my shitty speakers. The current single, “The Power of I & I” is certainly one of the finest tracks here. However, if I did have one “complaint,” and honestly it’s not even really a problem, is that at first listen, the songs do tend to meld together – sometimes a bit hard to differentiate one track from the next. Really, what this means is that if you like one tune, you’ll like ‘em all! And with any album given a few spins, they will discern themselves.
There is no way that any average metal loving fan could possibly find fault with this tremendous CD. It’s extremely powerful, mature with unforced maliciousness. It’s pure, raw metal. Shadows Fall have raised the bar for every single other heavy metal band, new and old, and I’ll be goddamned if they don’t begin headlining every show they play in 2005 and the years to follow.