“Fallout From The War” by Shadow’s Fall

Artist: Shadow’s Fall
Title: “Fallout From The War”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 6/13/2006
Genre: Thrash Metal
Rating: 2.5/5

The fallout from being one of the quintessential artifacts of the New England Metalcore scene lends itself to the uneventful execution by stalwarts Shadows Fall. Delivering uneven, tremor trembling thrash metal…or something like that from the fallout of a war, the western Massachusetts Metal core mayhem that once defined the SF execution now sees itself come to terms with tumultuous tenacity. The release is a multi-song full-length that is more apt to be an EP or B-side status than a true-to-form full-length album.

What “Fallout From the War” lacks is the definition and defiance that defined Shadows Fall on their strongest thrash-inspired-efforts over the past decade. However, the post-script to “The War Within” builds steadily upon the same foundation that they built their success upon with catchy riffing, dynamic vocals and pummeling percussion. It does feature some interesting and possibly shocking covers of Leeway and Only Living Witness as well as a pairing with Dangerous Toys’ vocalist on their “Teasin’ n’ Pleasn'” plus a few interesting out-takes of riffs that one might find hauntingly familiar.

In the wake of signing to a major label deal (Atlantic Records); one cannot help but assume that there is some contractual obligation or ode to their fans ideals behind the release of Fallout From the War. They leave it lacking the lush lucidity identifiable with their landmark efforts but the execution is there for the most part. There are shredding solos, vicarious vocals and incredible percussion but the end-result leaves only a few standout passages worthy of individual identification the way that songs such as “Fleshold,” “Of One Blood,” “Thoughts Without Words” or “The Power of I and I” were able to do over the past decade since their conception.

It’s true that Shadows Fall might have helped define the modern era of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal back in the late 90’s. Defining it before the catch phrase was ever used by the modern critics who praised bands that followed like Burn the Priest (now Lamb of God), Chimaria and Killswitch Engage. I recommend readers check out the Overcast, Aftershock, All That Remains & Blood Has Been Shed connections in the genre history. Overall, I still felt that this offering was little more than padding to an already well-quantified catalogue of modern era American Renaissance to this scene.

In the grander scheme the fallout here is in the faux-idealism presented in the execution of “new” songs in order to bridge the gap between their Indy label credibility, a la ”Garage Days,” and their newfound identity of signing to a major label with the expectation to write the next “Black Album.” If the members of Shadows Fall are indeed, the new “Metallica” then may these prototypes of the nouveau-Thrash regime show more promise than their predecessors who strived to transcend the Underground scene. May this lackluster effort be only a mere shadow of their past and their future combined.

Track Listing:
1. In Effigy
2. Win To Rebuild
3. Haunting Me Endlessly
4. Seize the Calm
5. Carpal Tunnel
6. Going, Going, Gone
7. Deadworld
8. This Is My Own
9. December
10. Mark Of The Squealer
11. Teasin’, Pleasn’

Official Website: www.shadowsfallrocks.com

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