SHIFT — Watch it Burn (review)

SHIFT — Watch it Burn album cover EP · 2011 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Time Signature
On the brink...

Genre: eclectic modern metal

Shift are back with a new EP. Where their previous release "Faceless" was more firmly rooted in alternative and groovy metal/rock, I think that this one is much more varied and generally more progressive although there are plenty of alternative and groovy elements here too.

The first two tracks "Stand Against" and "Into the White of your Eyes" have quite the metallic edge to them, but they are still very different experiences. The former is almost a sort of modern more hard hitting power metal song but with elements of alternative rock and speed metal as well, while the chorus is built on a sort of uptempo sludgy riff. Adding further to the diversity, the bridge is a mellow but dark one with a simple bass pattern and a bluesey guitar solo. The latter is built on an aggressive drive that is mostly based on 3/4 and 5/4 meters, while the bridge is a slow, oppressive and doom-ladden affair, and other parts are mildly groovy. While the vocals on the first track are mostly metalcore screams, the vocalist also makes use of very expressive and haunting clean vocals in the latter track.

The third track "The March" is a dark alternative rock track which sounds like a depression-stricken abandoned love child of Muse and Pineapple Thief. Here, the vocalist deploys a volatile and soft high register vocal style which makes the track sound even more melancholic.

The remaining three tracks take the listener back into metal land. The title track, while not metalcore, still reminds me with its use of chords and mellow intersections of more sophisticated metalcore acts like Scarred by Beauty and Trusted Few. Although there are some stylistic similarities, "On the Brink" is more in Alice in Chains or Soundgarden territory, and "Water on the Sun" is a progressive, almost avant-garde, affair with odd time signatures, strange piano patterns on top of the guitars and groovy/sludgy intermissions and breakdowns. The vocals are super expressive on all three tracks and contribute enormously to the positive experience of listening to this album.

"Watch It Burn" is a very good release, combining elements from many different metal and rock styles into something unique and compelling. It is a really good listen.

Generous as they are Shift have made this album freely available for download (there is also an enhanced versoin with bonus tracks available for purchase) - support Shift and check out this EP.
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more than 2 years ago
Great EP ;-)
Coffin Joe wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Looking forward to hearing the ep. Great review

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