Lord Shades - The Uprising of Namwell Cover ArtLet’s get the ‘need to know’ stuff out of the way first shall we? Lord Shades are French, which is noteworthy because what France doesn’t have in quantity, metal wise, it makes up for in quality and this lot are no exception.

This record is the final part of a trilogy about the character that gives the band their name. You do not need to hear the previous two parts of the story to appreciate “The Uprising of Namwell,” well I didn’t anyway. I guess if you were going to get fully into the story of Lord Shades, the character, then it would be advisable to check them out but I wanted to listen to this as a stand alone release.

The accompanying press release-blurb describes the band as a ‘mixture of Death and Black Metal tinged with sometimes gloomy and brutal atmospheres, sometimes dreamy and melancholy passages.’ Well, although it does do exactly what it says on the tin, it does also somewhat undersell the band, because they are fantastically versatile and diverse. Across the eight tracks there is just so much on display without ever feeling disjointed or like each is a different band entirely, which is no mean feat.

This record truly is a journey and one that immerses you into the realm of the Lord himself. Lord Shades (the band, not the character) have shown up a few bands that are much more well known, by the fact that they have made a concept record that holds your attention listen after listen rather than plodding along at one pace and not holding your interest no matter how hard you try, (Rotting Christ, I am looking at you and the mundane Rituals.)

There are some flashes of the afore mentioned Rotting Christ across the tracks as well as some elements of Satanist-era Behemoth and early Morbid Angel. With that said, there’s so much more on offer here too that cannot be pigeonholed easily such as the use of piano passages and female operatic vocals (not the annoying, cheesy kind). In closing, I urge any open-minded Metal fan to give this a go because it is quite wonderful and rather refreshing.

Lord Shades – Official Website