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Shadows Fall Fallout From The War

Shadows Fall - Fallout From The War
01. In Effigy
02. Will To Rebuild
03. Haunting Me Endlessly
04. Seize The Calm
05. Carpal Tunnel
06. Going, Going, Gone
07. Deadworld
08. This Is My Own
09. December
10. Mark Of The Squealer
11. Teasn' Pleasn'
2006 Century Media Records

Reviewed by: Michael Gluck   //   Published: 6/26/2006

More and more mainstream rock and metal listeners have begun taking notice of the new sensation called Shadows Fall, and while they were never an extreme band by any means, anyone can plainly see that they've been writing progressively softer in the years since Of One Blood was released. Regardless of the radio-oriented tracks like "What Drives The Weak" and "Inspiration on Demand" on their 2004 breakthrough album, The War Within, sufficient doses of up-tempo verses, entertaining soloing, and well-paced breaks helped the album stay in favor with the metal world while gaining an impressive stronghold on a greater number of mainstream fans than any band of their genre had done before. My concerns are just how easily-digestible their upcoming major label debut will be, and whether or not music on Fallout From The War is a sign of what's to come; because if it is, the next record won't do much for me.

Fallout From The War is Century Media's compilation of new b-sides, old b-sides, and some covers, in order to fulfill the contract and make a quick buck before Shadows Fall releases their Atlantic Records debut sometime after the summer. While it would be easy to label this EP "something only the true fans should look into," I have to stop myself before doing so, because I'm sure there are many different types of Shadows Fall fans: Those who prefer their first two, those who prefer their last two, those who pretty much like them all, and probably more variants still. While I much prefer their first two albums, their previous two still had their merits, and were enjoyable at times. But even then, I find Fallout From The War to be inconsistent and unsatisfying beyond the well-chosen covers.

It consists of unmemorable and extremely middle-of-the-road b-sides sounding as though they originated from The Art of Balance era (Shadows Fall's first attempt at writing rock rock songs), no matter if some are actually leftovers from that era or not. The tracks "In Effigy" and "Carpal Tunnel" are essentially rock songs with a bit of double-bass, some thrash beats, and of course, big choruses. But unlike their achievements on The War Within, the sum here is not greater than its parts, with the fusion of influences clearly underdeveloped. The track "Going, Going, Gone" was obviously slapped together in a few hours, because knowing the skills of guitarists Matt Bachand and Jon Donais, the three-chord riffs and cringe-inducing breakdown could have been written by them in their sleep. "Deadworld," one of the previously-released b-sides from The Art of Balance era (on the Japanese Deadworld EP and limited Of One Blood re-release), was re-recorded for this EP and ends up being the best of the original material.

The covers were well chosen, and all serve to shed light on unique bands who largely went under the radar during their times together. Whichever of Shadows Fall's three vocalists is singing the verses on the Only Living Witness cover for "December," he does not hit the high notes when he should, and thus while instrumentally the song is executed perfectly, the vocals grate at my nerves because I keep waiting for those notes to be hit. The best piece of music on the EP is their cover of Leeway's "Mark of The Squealer," however Eddie Sutton's high-pitched vocals are slightly butchered by Brian's inability to hit certain notes, and then a completely renovated solo spoils a key part in the original song. I am well aware this is a cover, but I was hoping they would replicate A.J. Novello's original solo. Dangerous Toys, a playful yet dependable hair metal band arriving after the genre's heyday had passed, is remembered in the form of "Teasn' Pleasn'" with the all-important vocals done true to form.

Bottom Line: Before any of us get overly worrisome about the haphazard sound of this EP and what it means for their anticipated follow-up to The War Within, it should be noted that these are all b-sides from the previous two albums, and therefore the release bears little relevance to their new material; or does it Will their Atlantic Records debut lean more towards rock If that is this case, as many are predicting it will be, let's hope the material is in the vein of The War Within and not Fallout From The War. Shadows Fall have some great songwriters, composing both memorable metal and rock songs during their time together. But going by Fallout From The War, I'd have a hard time believing it.

Dirm_   posted 12/6/2006 10:39:49 PM
Good but not great. Excellent covers but the rest of the album is a bit lacking. 7/10
FagsAreGay_   posted 7/16/2006 12:20:48 AM
Shadows Fall are a horrible band. Everything about them and their stupid little vegan/PETA cult suck balls.
Mike_   posted 7/3/2006 1:40:17 AM
AJ and Eddie get all songwriting credit on Born to Expire...I know Gibbons was the lead guitarist but he wasn't credited with writing the solos...it's anyone's guess. APPARENTLY, Glenn Danzig wrote Danzig 1-4...HAHA I DON'T THINK SO! He DID write Danzig 5-8 though, that we know for sure.
d-dog_   posted 7/1/2006 3:20:56 AM
horrible record
girls who run_   posted 6/30/2006 3:59:40 PM
this is leftover stuff from the last album. that's why it sounds like leftover stuff.

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