The Art of Balance
Pretty incredible record here. This is death metal with hardcore punk stylings, done in a very first rate manner. Whereas Of One Blood, Shadows Fall’s first (and previous) release was a death metal classic of sorts, the band branches out on The Art of Balance, adding lots of hardcore, tough guy screaming, while still frequenting the useful bark.
What can be said about a band that is at the top of their genre, who don’t falter from a nearly perfect first album? Not a whole lot. The guitars are grinding and crushing, yet incredibly well recorded, the drums are furious, the vocals are convincing, and the bass is propulsive and grainy. The riffs are very melodic, in a Hell Awaits-era Slayer kind of way. The vocals, when he’s screaming, rather than growling or trying to sing, are awesome and highly intimidating.
If any one problem area had to be discussed, it would be simply the occasional acoustic guitar interlude. I hate it. Shadows Fall fancies it a bit here, but it’s not abhorrently bad, just distasteful. Most people reading this review will have already bought this and are just reading for fun. If you haven’t bought this and love tough death metal, please give this one a whirl.
Century Media Records: http://www.centurymedia.com