SHIFT

Progressive Metal / Alternative Metal • Australia
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Shift are an Australian alternative metal band who are progressively inclined.

The band's core members Rob Lambert on vocals/guitars/keys and Kori Barnett on drums, with several people handling bass duties for the recordings.

The band started out more as a project: Rob had a bunch of music that was partly finished and rather than have the songs waste away on my hard drive he figured it would be good to at least get them to a finished stage. He asked Kori if he was keen to help out and he agreed so it went from there.

When it came time to release the music Rob and Kori knew that they wanted to do things a bit different to the norm, deciding that they’d write some music first, release it mostly online by giving it away for free and try to see if we could actually build an audience first before playing a show.

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SHIFT Faceless album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Faceless
Alternative Metal 2010
SHIFT Watch it Burn album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Watch it Burn
Progressive Metal 2011

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SHIFT Reviews

SHIFT Watch it Burn

EP · 2011 · Progressive Metal
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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.

SHIFT Faceless

EP · 2010 · Alternative Metal
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Time Signature
This alternative embrace...

Genre: alternative metal / groove metal

"Faceless" is an EP which is released by the Australian metal band Shift, and those who like freebies can freely and legally download it from the band's web page (see the entry of the release for download details).

Musically, the band draw on groove metal, through the use of groovy riffs, and alternative metal/rock, through the use of chord types which were typical of 90s alternative rock and (dis)harmonies which were associated with the Pixies-inspired noise rock of the 90s. The band tend to keep things rather minimalistic and draw a lot on repetition, but that works fine because parts that break with the otherwise repeated patterns, seem so much more powerful and notable. However, the draw back to the use of repetition is of course that the tracks may end up losing their catchiness, and I think that "Faceless" suffers a bit from this, which is a shame because there is a lot of good stuff on it and it conveys a sense of melancholy and desperation.

The vocalist has a very clear and expressive voice, which I like, but he is not afraid of yelling and screaming when the music calls for it - and, personally, I think that the vocals are one of the strongest features of this release.

Given that you can download this album freely and legally, you should check it out yourself and write a review here on MMA.

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