SHADOWS FALL
Metalcore • United States

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Shadows Fall formed in 1996 in Springfield, Massachusetts and rose up as a prominent member of the bustling Massachusetts metal and hardcore scene that has recently produced bands such as Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, and Unearth. Guitar duo Jonathan Donais and Matt Bachand got together in '96 and had the original lineup complete within a year. These members were vocalist Philip Labonte, now with All That Remains, bass player Paul Romanko, and drummer David Germain.

Music from Shadows Fall's early days can be compared to metal legends such as Metallica, Slayer, and Iron Maiden as their songs relied heavily on the start-stop tempo changes made famous by the aforementioned bands. The band also had a lot of death metal influences at the time. They began touring the New England area and eventually were able to obtain open slots for acclaimed metal bands such as Fear Factory and Cannibal
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Threads of LifeThreads of Life
Atlantic 2007
Audio CD$0.93
$0.01 (used)
The Art of BalanceThe Art of Balance
Century Media 2002
Audio CD$7.66
$0.01 (used)
Fire From the SkyFire From the Sky
Razor & Tie 2012
Audio CD$7.35
$2.05 (used)
Fallout From the WarFallout From the War
Century Media 2006
Audio CD$1.57
$0.01 (used)
Metal For the Masses Vol. 3Metal For the Masses Vol. 3
Century Media
Audio CD$199.99
$2.90 (used)
RetributionRetribution
Shadows Fall 2009
Audio CD$5.97
$3.64 (used)
Somber Eyes to the SkySomber Eyes to the Sky
Lifeless Records 2000
Audio CD$14.44
$4.60 (used)
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SHADOWS FALL Discography

SHADOWS FALL albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Somber Eyes to the Sky
Metalcore 1998
.. Album Cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
Of One Blood
Metalcore 2000
.. Album Cover 4.01 | 5 ratings
The Art of Balance
Metalcore 2002
.. Album Cover 3.30 | 5 ratings
The War Within
Metalcore 2004
.. Album Cover 3.52 | 4 ratings
Fallout From the War
Metalcore 2006
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
Threads of Life
Metalcore 2007
.. Album Cover 4.66 | 6 ratings
Retribution
Metalcore 2009
.. Album Cover 4.31 | 5 ratings
Fire from the Sky
Metalcore 2012

SHADOWS FALL EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Deadworld
Metalcore 2004
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Japan
Metalcore 2005

SHADOWS FALL live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Art of Touring
Metalcore 2005

SHADOWS FALL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SHADOWS FALL boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Fear Will Drag You Down
Metalcore 2002

SHADOWS FALL singles (0)

SHADOWS FALL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Art of Touring
Metalcore 2005
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
Madness In Manila: Shadows Fall Live In The Philippines 2009
Metalcore 2010

SHADOWS FALL Reviews

SHADOWS FALL Fire from the Sky

Album · 2012 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Shadows Fall have been very consistent over the years, and like Hatebreed it could be argued (exaggeratedly) that if you've heard one album then you've heard them all, although possibly excluding their debut with Phil Labonte on vocals instead of Brian Fair. If you've heard any previous Brain Fair era Shadows Fall album then you know what to expect, the only major changes over the years have been production value and the ratio of clean to heavy moments.

If you've never heard Shadows Fall before, they sit on the Thrash Influenced but very melodic end of the Metalcore spectrum, like Rise To Remain and Trivium, as opposed to the heavier and more groove orientated end like Devildriver or Lamb Of God. If you don't like any Metalcore whatsoever, Shadows Fall aren't likely to change your mind, but if you do you'll likely find them a worthy addition to your collection.

The production job (by Killswitch Engage's Adam Dutkiewicz) is almost faultless and the entire band's performance is precise and confident as always. Jason Bittner's critically acclaimed drumming is excellent with pounding double-kicks and occasional blasts. Brain Fair's, Matt Bachand's & Jonathan Donais' three-tiered vocal approach is as good as it has always been, with an extra focus on background death-vocals this time around. The guitar work is peppered full of Thrash riffs, Shredding Solos and Melodic leads amid the usual Metalcore style, there are waves and waves of excellent guitar solos on this album that are great even by the band's own standards.

I would argue that the album starts off very well, and leads with some of its strongest material. When listening to these first few songs, even if you've liked the band all along, you get the feeling that Shadows Fall have become energized and have stepped up their game somewhat, tracks like `Nothing Remains' for example just have an extra spark of enthusiasm in them and would work amazingly well in a live environment.

Highlights include the pre-released Title Track, the closer `The Wasteland' and `Weight Of The World' which are three of the heaviest tracks and are all a bit more technical and death-influenced than recent records have been.

Another highlight is the bouncy `Walk The Edge' which is reminiscent of the band's bigger singles like `Redemption' and `The Light That Blinds' in its mixture of upbeat melodic moments, gang backing vocals and intermittent heavy sections, it bridges the gap rather well between this album and previous ones.

Overall, Fire From The Sky is not that dramatic a departure from the existing Shadows Fall style, so if you are sick of that or never liked it in the first place then this isn't something you'll fall in love with. There is a slight refocusing on the heavier side though, so it isn't just a carbon copy of their last album either. If you are up for more of what you already like, with a little twist, then the album will prove a superb addition to your existing collection. Comment

SHADOWS FALL Fear Will Drag You Down

Boxset / Compilation · 2002 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Fear Will Drag You Down is a compilation album by the Massachusetts based metalcore band Shadows Fall which collects together their ten track Of One Blood album and Deadworld EP, which featured two studio tracks and three live tracks recorded in America in 2000.

The material was remixed and tidied up by famed metal/hardcore producer Chris “Zeuss” Harris, who has worked with the band before, as well as other acts like Hatebreed, Chimaira, Throwdown, All That Remains etc.

Of One Blood was the band’s second full-length studio album and found the band in a transitional period, as it was both the first album to feature iconic singer Brain Fair on vocals and the last album to feature David Germain on the drums.

Additionally, the sound is slightly different to the releases which would follow, using less melody and commercial radio choruses, and using elements of melodeath/Gothenburg sound in with their 1980s thrash influenced, guitar solo filled brand of metalcore. Furthermore, vocally the album is a lot harsher and heavier than their later work, and concentrated more on death growls and hardcore shouts than on clean melodic singing.

The versions of “Fleshold,” “Revel In My Loss” and “To Ashes” found on Of One Blood are updated versions of tracks found on their debut album, reportedly still featuring some of the original vocals from Phil Labonte.

Although the album is certainly better produced than their muddy sounding debut, the production on the album is still perhaps a little too flat and songs don’t feel as three dimensional as you can tell they ought to be, but other elements such as the lyrics and guitar solos are up to a high standard by this stage in the band’s career and overall this is still a worthwhile album to check out if you enjoy the band.

Album highlights include the surprisingly catchy ‘First Noble Truth,’ as well as the aforementioned ‘Fleshold’ and the six and a half minute long ‘Root Bound Appolo.’

The two additional studio tracks ‘Deadworld,’ and an early version of ‘Stepping Outside The Circle,’ are very good and the live material is an enjoyable if not deal-breaking extra.

In summary; If you like Shadows Fall and haven’t yet gotten their early material then this is a worthy purchase, although I wouldn’t recommend that you pick it up if you haven’t heard some of the band’s more famous albums first.

SHADOWS FALL Retribution

Album · 2009 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
The Massachusetts based Shadows Fall offer a unique brand of Metalcore tinged Thrash Metal. With plenty of guitar solos and a considerable nod to the 1980s but a strong melodic element the band straddle the line between classic and modern rather comfortably; it may not be to everyone's tastes, but if you like this sort of music Shadows Fall are one of the most vital and important bands out there.

At first listen this album didn't grab me, it just passed me by and (with the exception of `King Of Nothing,') didn't seem as interesting as the band's last three albums, but on the second listen I noticed the real step up in musicianship on display here, The guitars have never been this fast or technical and the drums are even more powerful and authoritative than before. The band just seem to have kicked up a gear as musicians each seeming to have a more complete mastery of their instrument than on any previous album. The vocals have similarly never sounded better with the vocals on the songs `Embrace Annihilation,' and `Picture Perfect,' being particularly strong.

Also worth mentioning is the brilliant production, the guitar sound is so good it is hard to believe and the same can be said for the drums. This is all well and good, but a good production is pointless without a good set of well written songs.

First of all, the song `King Of Nothing,' featuring a guest vocal performance from Randy Blythe is maybe the best song Shadows Fall have every written it is so perfectly catchy and it is heavy in just the right way making it an absolute joy to listen to, and when you factor in the improved musicianship and the previously mentioned production you've got a real gem on your hands.

Other highlights include the fast and typically intense `War,' which features some very powerful drumming and a brilliant breakdown, and `A Public Execution,' which is grows better with each listen.

In fact this can be said of every song on the album, the more you listen to it the more you like it, all the clever drum fills and vocal hooks make themselves known and after a few listens the album feels like a real classic. If you like Shadows Fall you simply will not be disappointed.

SHADOWS FALL Threads of Life

Album · 2007 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Threads of Life, Shadows Fall's 2007 major label debut contains the Grammy nominated `Redemption,' along with a fine collection of well written and fantastically produced material that while slicker and less metalcore than their earlier material contains all the passion and attitude that make the band so interesting.

The lead singer Brain Fair has a pretty impressive voice, equally talented in catchy melodic singing and aggressive shouting whether or not you are a fan of his singing voice there is a variety on offer with enough hardcore shouts, metal screams and death growls that you'll find something suited to your tastes.

Drummer Jason Bittner puts down a very memorable performance on this record, and while he has always been hyped you can really hear that hype justified on this album some very enjoyable fills and very impressive footwork make for a good drummer and the clean swagger of his performance separate him from the crowd, he can be as complicated as he likes then just by virtue of his playing style make something as simple as silence followed three strikes on the kick drum sound amazing.

As always, the album boasts excellent guitar work from Jonathan Donais and Matt Bachand who constantly provide interesting melodies and thrash influenced riffs that on this album more than ever, evoke that classic 1980s sound. The shimmering acoustic passages that made The Art Of Balance such a joy to listen to are still there and there are a few ballads like `Another Hero Lost,' that slow things down a bit more, but when all the material is smooth, clear and superbly produced its difficult to find fault.

Album highlights include the very catchy `Failure of The Devout,' which features some particularly impressive drumming and plenty of new ideas among the tried and tested formula, the brutal and impressive `Dread Uprising,' and of course `Venomous,' which is the perfect example of the Shadows Fall style, the big riffs, the double kick drum work and a particularly great vocal performance.

This is a very strong Shadows Fall album indeed and highly recommended.

SHADOWS FALL Fallout From the War

Album · 2006 · Metalcore
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Kingcrimsonprog
As you may know, this is not a full fledged studio album by Shadows Fall but rather it is a compilation album released to round out a record contract. Many such albums are usually poor quality full of annoying remixes, sub par live tracks, undesirable b sides or the band's earliest worst sounding material slapped onto a disc without much effort.

What makes the Fallout From The War different from the poorer contractual obligation albums is simply that it is very good. Academically you can argue that this album is unnecessary sure, but listening to this album feels like listening to a real album, and sounds like listening to a real album.

The production is as good as on The War Within, if a little heavier. The songwriting is high quality indeed, these are no throw away B sides but top quality Shadows Fall songs in their own right and the whole album flows perfectly so if you didn't know otherwise, you'd think you were just listening to an excellent new Shadows Fall record.

The three cover songs which round out the album, especially the phenomenal 'December,' by little known band Only Living Witness are excellent and do not feel out of place whatsoever, with the same production and firey performance as the rest of the album they in no way feel like the filler you may assume they are when seeing that they album is rounded out by three cover tunes.

Album highlights include 'Will to Rebuild,' which is one of the heaviest Shadows Fall songs available and so good that had it have been on The War Within it would probably be the best song on the album, along with the rerecording of 'Deadworld,'which sounds phenomenal with the new studio recording and performance and also 'This Is My Own,' which is a real gem, with a huge guitar sound, excellent riffs and catchy breakdowns.

All in all this is a fine compilation and I would encourage Shadows Fall fans to try it, even if cash in compilations have burned you in the past; this is just sheer high quality music, eleven studio recordings with superb production and excellent song writing.

SHADOWS FALL Movies Reviews

SHADOWS FALL Madness In Manila: Shadows Fall Live In The Philippines 2009

Movie · 2010 · Metalcore
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Kingcrimsonprog
Madness In Manilla is a live DVD/CD combo released in 2010 by the Massachusetts based American Metalcore band Shadows Fall, which was recorded live at Summerslam Festival in the Philippines back in 2009. The performance features a career spanning sixteen-track setlist that is balanced and which covers all the band’s most well known material as well as a few less expected numbers for variety.

This DVD is a proper full-length concert video of a single concert, as opposed to how either their previous DVD, The Art Of Touring or for example Down’s Diary Of A Mad Band were set out. Luckily for most concert fans, the set isn’t interspersed with home video footage or animations either, just the live performance from beginning to end.

The band play on a large outdoor festival stage along to an incredibly detailed light show, with all sorts of rotating, panning and altering lights, spots and colour changes, as well as lots of dry ice.

The camerawork features lots of movement, with all sorts of cranes and dollys employed along with the usual camera crew, the whole operation is a lot more complex and professional than any of the band’s previously available live videos from bonus discs and such things.

You get a lot of coverage of the instruments being played which is always a plus for viewers who are musicians and a good cover of the band’s famously proficient drummer Jason Bitner. What you also get to see a lot of is singer Brian Fair windmilling his knee-length dreadlocks, which is an interesting sight all things considered.

Whilst there are a lot of positives to be said about the visuals, there are some issues in the shot matching, occasional framing problems and the dry ice can effect the picture quality, it switches from incredibly high resolution shots on cranes and not so great images on handhelds. Furthermore the menus are cheap looking and basic so it isn’t as absolutely perfect as some bigger band’s festival DVDs or equally sized band’s indoor concert DVDs, but is still a strong release overall.

Standout tracks include the furious performance of early classic ‘Crushing Belial,’ which is opened with an enthusiastic yet expletive description of its epic status by Brian, which gives you a good idea of the energy and attitude that then goes into the ensuing performance. Other highlights include the Grammy nominated set closer ‘Redemption’ as well as the newer track ‘War’ which hammers away at a relentless pace.

Additionally; there are bonus features, which include four more live videos for ‘The Light That Blind,’ ‘Redemption,’ ‘Venous’ and ‘Thoughts Without Words,’ from Japan, The Philippines and Korea respectively, although the quality obviously isn’t as high as the main feature.

The sound and mix are great, so judging the product overall; the only real problems with the DVD apart from the previous mentioned visuals are subjective problems with Shadows Fall in general. If for example, you think their material is samey then sixteen tracks in a row may be a bit much for you, and similarly if you are used to their super-polished studio sound, then the live backing vocals or clean sections may well sound odd or strangely out of place.

Otherwise however, Madness In Manilla is a very good release from Shadows Fall that I would definitely recommend to fans. Due to its high sound quality and expansive setlist, it would make a fine introduction to the band for newcomers as well.

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