It is often stated that the best and most everlasting of music is the stuff that pushes beyond its barriers; that tries new things, explores new horizons, makes new sounds and broadens our minds to new territory; a sentiment that is especially true it seems for most fans of heavy music. On the other hand, it is equally true that we love to have a good time, and that very little can beat simply going to a gig and having a good old sing song and a mosh with a pint or two in hand. Shadows Fall are a band firmly in the second camp, and embodiment of the old phrase “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”.
On the latest album, “Fire From The Sky”, these metalcore stalwarts have stuck with their tried and tested formula, and continuing their return to form following previous album “Retribution”. For me “Retribution” was a really good fun album which had some of the band’s greatest moments to date, such as the mammoth “Still I Rise”, but at the same time had some quite forgettable moments. “FFTS” on the other hand is a much more consistent piece, again containing some real high points from the band’s career but without dipping in quality in places.
As mentioned before, this is hardly the place to look for real progression in, but Shadows Fall have certainly stepped up on the heavier side of their sound on “FFTS”. The title track for example contains some of the most guttural vocals I have heard from them in quite some time, whilst elsewhere it is certainly a much thrashier affair than on “Retribution” at least.
That being said, their melodic side is still very prominent. One of Shadows Fall’s real talents has been writing huge sing a long choruses, and on “FFTS” they do not disappoint. “Save Your Soul”, “Lost Within” and “Blind Faith” are just two such examples that rank amongst the band’s finest. The sheer amount of big hooks as well makes these numbers instant pit fodder.
Shadows Fall are hardly the band that are going to break the mould by any means, and they aren’t setting out to. What these guys do do however is make massive songs ready to mosh to, and “Fire From The Sky” has a tonne of them. I am quite a sucker for this kind of thing admittedly, but “Fire From The Sky” is huge fun and well worth checking out for some straight up moshpit music. If there are any qualms here it is with the samey nature of it; some signs of innovation perhaps could have raised the score somewhat; but for simply headbanging with a beer in hand, this will do the job just fine.