As Shadows Collapse
A World Apart
review published: 4/13/2014
As Shadows Collapse is a metal act from Lebanon, Missouri, and this six-song EP, titled A World Apart, is their most recent release. The band describes their sound as a combination of metal, metalcore, and deathcore, a description that is indeed wholly accurate.
Following a hackneyed, though not terrible intro segment (with obligatory piano and strings), the metal of opening track "Hammer Meets Wall" kicks in and amidst the next the ten seconds of music, I was convinced that As Shadows Collapse would prove to be a Lamb of God clone. That notion was quickly dispelled once the song hit its stride. The band does, however, liberally borrow from several genre heavyweights, including Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, and the aforementioned LoG. But calling them a "clone" of anything isn't entirely fair; they're an amalgam of pretty much all palatable forms of modern metal.
In case I've not made myself clear, originality is not the band's forte. They're seemingly comfortable operating within the confines of digestible metal, replete with aggressive riffs, cleanly sung hooks, admirable guitar solos, and double bass driven breakdowns. What As Shadows Collapse lacks in uniqueness they make up for in musicianship, songwriting ability, and polish. If I heard the EP's second track "Outer Heaven" on some mainstream metal radio station, I wouldn't blink. The song is a nicely constructed slab of meaty metal with a catchy chorus reminiscent of Killswitch Engage's 2013 single "In Due Time." Again, a bit trite, but well crafted.
A similar approach is used with moderate success on "A World Apart," a track buttressed by a few tightly arranged, staccato guitar grooves (e.g. the nifty segment that kicks in at 0:42 seconds). Clearly, As Shadows Collapse can be pretty darn heavy when they ditch the singing and focus on the metalcore. The following track, "Flight Of The Night Owl," is a decent rager that could find itself at home on any Unearth album.
EP closer "Gigantis" follows suit, delivering more judiciously accessible metal but never crossing the line into cheesy territory. The song truly encapsulates the entire release -- this band does everything right, yet there's something slightly clinical about the entire affair and for every listener that will bob his head, there's another that will tune out.
If I was able to decipher them, the lyrical themes of A World Apart may indeed be thought-provoking. They're not poorly written, just a be a bit too cryptic to enable meaningful interpretation (there do appear to be some protests against religion and/or those who ignore any concomitant hypocrisy). Meanwhile, the EP's engineering and production is competent and without issue.
Bottom Line: As Shadows Collapse doesn't bring anything new to the table on A World Apart, but for those of you who can't get enough metalcore, these guys are probably on par with some of your favorite bands.
Track Listing: 01. Hammer Meets Wall 02. Outer Heaven 03. A World Apart 04. The Overtaking 05. Flight of the Night Owl 06. Gigantis