Shadows Fall

Threads Of Life

Written by: PP on 16/04/2007 15:40:24

When the popularity of metalcore culminated a few years ago, Shadows Fall was one of the bands riding on top of the enormous tidal wave of bands, largely considered as a part of the elite in the genre, delivering one massively influential album after another. "The Art Of Balance" is a classic in the genre, but as much as it helped to raise the profile of the genre, it also helped to give one of the final stabs to it as well. And so it seems that either the genre follows Shadows Fall's downfall, or Shadows Fall follows the genre, as their new album "Threads Of Life" reveals.

Far from being categorically metalcore, the album leans much more against traditional thrash metal than anything else. The blazing riffs have been replaced by more intricate, more thought out arrangements, and instead of the continuous technical wankery, the band has focused on creating solidifying songs with a multitude of dimensions, ranging from the technical solo to the flatteningly heavy verse riffing. I've personally never been a huge fan of their vocals, but Brian Fair has always been a good vocalist technically, and especially his distinct clean parts strike out here too. There are less screams, and more raging shouts, but it all sounds somewhat tiresome and, dare I say it, boring. But it's not that the songs on "Threads Of Life" are bad. With enough time, an attentive listener will surely appreciate the professionalism lurking beneath the surface, the thought processes that must have taken place in order for the band to create something as deeply engaging as some of the riffs and chord progressions on this record. But honestly, can anyone say they haven't heard this a hundred times before?

"Threads Of Life" isn't an innovative album, nor is it meant to be, but even as a substance-filled metal release it's sub par to the masterpieces in the genre. Referring back to my introduction, it truly seems that as the genre itself is on the downhill, so is Shadows Fall. Quite literally to their name, a shadow has fallen over them while the spotlight has been stolen by either much more technical bands (All That Remains) or by much more commercial and accessible ones (Trivium). "Threads Of Life" just doesn't have the features to distinguish the band from others in the genre anymore, and while being a solid effort by itself, just doesn't interest me in today's world where I have so much choice.

Download: Redemption, Failure Of The Devout
For the fans of: Lamb Of God, All That Remains, Unearth, Chimaira
Listen: Myspace

Release date 03.04.2007
Atlantic Records

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