Rating:
9.0
Shadows Fall - The Art Of Balance
2002


01. Idle Hands
02. Thoughts Without Words
03. Destroyer Of Senses
04. Casting Shade
05. Stepping Outside The Circle
06. The Art Of Balance
07. Mystery Of One Spirit
08. The Idiot Box
09. Prelude To Disaster
10. A Fire In Babylon
11. Welcome To The Machine [Pink Floyd cover]


With Metalcore rapidly becoming the new Nu-Metal, many bands are going to find themselves out in the cold and with bad reputations to boot. Shadows Fall, however, are not just going to survive this revolution but are going to thrive and become bigger and better than ever before much to the envy of its rivals.

This is probably Shadows Fall's biggest and most accomplished release to date combining a much more melodic combination of Thrash and Melodeath to amazing effect. There are few bands nowadays that can mix aggression and melody so successfully without falling into this tragic, generic metalcore sound which is so often replicated nowadays.

While less technical than it's follow up album "The War Within" it, instead, concentrates on catchy, riff-inspired song writing. The songs really do stick in your head and despite the screaming vocals, the lyrics are easily heard. This is due to Brian Fair's truly staggering vocals. Seriously, the guy can scream in a totally unique way beyond compare. It kind of sounds like three people screaming at once… kind of. His clean vocals are also something special. Adopting a somewhat raw sound he reaches emotional heights on the title track "Art Of Balance" which is juxtaposed perfectly to his frantic screaming.

The strongest track on the album is "Thoughts Without Words" which really sums up the band overall. Awesomely catchy chorus with blistering head bang-inducing verses. Seriously, I challenge you not to bob your head to this track! The drumming is worth noting on this track too, not just your typical drone of non-stop double kicks. The two instrumental tracks "Casting Shade" (Which sounds like something from Dire Straits) and "Prelude To Disaster" are thoughtful and emotional and are a hundred times better than your average filler tracks. Make no mistake, there are no weak tracks on this album. It's a versatile roller coaster from the pure aggression of "Destroyer Of Senses" to the epic and adventurous "A Fire In Babylon." The only exception to this album is the inclusion of the Pink Floyd cover "Welcome To The Machine" which, as good as it is, feels a little out of place.

I implore anyone avoiding this band because of its "Metalcore" tag to give them an honest try and not let sub-par Metalcore pap like Trivium and Caliban ruin the possibility of future love affairs with this band.


Band profile: Shadows Fall
Album: The Art Of Balance


 


written by !J.O.O.E.! | 07.10.2005


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Arian Totalis

Rating:
10
There are few bands that make such progressive steps in musicianship as Shadows Fall per album. Their first album was a melodic death metal classic. Their second album saw a change in sound and a beginning in innovation, while still melo-death incorporated hardcore influences. Yet this third album is considered by many a fan to be the masterpiece of this dynamic and unique band. This album is by far their peak in performance, and truly earns it's title, the art of balance. This is perhaps the most creative and original albums to have been released in the last five years. With a brand new step in the direction of originality and ingenuity, this is part three, and possibly the greatest part, of the history of Shadows Fall. You are about to learn the Art of Balance.

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published 17.06.2007 | Comments (14)



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Danny Thomas - 08.04.2007 at 01:32  
yes, they've got some badass ass solos, especially on "mystery of one spirit" and i agree, this band shouldnt be thrown in with the rest of the metalcore scene, they are at the front of the line.
Arian Totalis - 09.04.2007 at 21:43  
Fucking Great review.
Stigmatized - 10.04.2007 at 08:31  
Shadows Fall's best effort. Has my favorite SF song on it, which is the title track. Also has bad-ass tracks like "Thoughts Without Words".
Uirapuru - 31.03.2009 at 12:12  
Written by Stigmatized on 10.04.2007 at 08:31

Shadows Fall's best effort. Has my favorite SF song on it, which is the title track. Also has bad-ass tracks like "Thoughts Without Words".


Same here. Within the metalcore scene these guys sure rule.. since this style usually does't call my attention, but this work is absolutly the best metalcore effort in my opinion.. I used to consider that God Forbid's ''IV: Constitution Of Treason'' was the best metalcore work..

Shadows Fall is very talented band, and to me, the best metalcore.. of course, considering that i despise the majority of other bands in the style.
Boxcar Willy - 25.04.2011 at 00:18  
BEST ALBUM OF LIFE FO' LIFE
!J.O.O.E.! - 25.04.2011 at 00:33  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 25.04.2011 at 00:18

BEST ALBUM OF LIFE FO' LIFE

And a review I'd rather forget xD
Boxcar Willy - 25.04.2011 at 01:00  
^why
!J.O.O.E.! - 25.04.2011 at 01:06  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 25.04.2011 at 01:00

^why

Just a childish and poorly written review. I still agree with the rating though, it's a great album and Shadows Fall's best.
Boxcar Willy - 05.11.2011 at 16:54  
Cannot stop listening to this! it is soooooo awesome!
JohnDoe - 19.01.2012 at 00:24  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 25.04.2011 at 01:06

Written by Boxcar Willy on 25.04.2011 at 01:00

^why

Just a childish and poorly written review. I still agree with the rating though, it's a great album and Shadows Fall's best.


it's a well written review; and a good album, I would not rate it so high though.

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