Faithful Darkness - In Shadow Lies Utopia review
|Album:||In Shadow Lies Utopia|
|Release date:||April 2008|
01. Stay Awake
02. Pure Silence
03. Dispelled Dreams
04. Fast I Fall
05. Human Torch
06. Bound To Illusions
09. In Shadow Lies Utopia
11. Fields Of Yesterday
Mr. Judas, aka Jimmy Persson, didn't want to be known only for his skills as a drummer, so when he left Soilwork back in 1999 he began toying with the idea of having his own band, one where he would be able to showcase his talents as a guitarist. Hence, in 2004, he decided to start Faithful Darkness, and, after a few good but rare demos, "In Shadows Lies Utopia" sees the light of day. It doesn't take long to realize the frontman chose to point in the direction he first appeared in, which is a way of saying Faithful Darkness is a Melodic Death Metal project, and proudly so. Thankfully.
Soilwork is becoming a shadow of its former self (or former it… whatever), but one has to recognize the quality of its members, even if you can only notice it on their side projects. Under whatever name they are working on, they are still releasing some great music, and you just have to be attentive to get a hold of it. Jimmy Persson is doing exactly that at the moment, and it's a shame if this album doesn't reach a wider audience because it certainly deserves more attention than a "Stabbing The Drama" or a "Sworn To A Great Divide."
"In Shadows Lies Utopia" is quite simply great modern Metal. It's the sound of a band knowing exactly what they want and what to do to achieve it. This Swedish sextet puts all its energy and talent to good use, and aim for brutally effective songwritting; songs that may not be destined to be regarded as innovation personified, but that will for sure put metalheads out there headbanging and screaming its chorus with pleasure. This album works, first and foremost, as a succession of really likable tracks.
Each minute offers a very mature blend of catchy brilliance that has been so difficult for even older bands to achieve these days. Faithful Darkness embraces the Gothenburg vibe with confidence, without ever distancing themselves from it, they go for the duo of guitarists taking the lead in determining the rhythm of the songs, usually mid-tempo with a lot of attention to melody, drums and bass on the background, harsh vocals, and even easy-on-the-ear keyboards filling up spaces for atmosphere, all memorable and intricately woven together. Why bore the listener with technical ruminations when you can make an album that's instantly accessible and still achieve a very interesting quality of depth and musical dynamic?
What made the ever aging "Colony," "A Predator's Portrait," or "Swamplord" successful is what makes "In Shadows Lies Utopia" successful. You can pick a track randomly, and you'll get a great one. Here's a newcomer that understands what Melodic Death Metal is, there's no misinterpretation, no influences from newer tendencies, and produces it with undeniable quality, under fantastic production values. French filmmaker Robert Bresson once said, through the voice of one of his characters, that "the simplest tasks are by no means the easiest". That's it. There's nothing more I can add.
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