Rating:
7.7
Shadar Logoth - Curse
September 2008


01. Footsteps In The Snow
02. Here Lyes: Planet Earth
03. Spitting His Curse With Venom
04. The Path To End
05. Gallows Hill
06. The Dread Lord


Shadar Logoth, inspired by a writer other than J.R.R. Tolkien or H.P. Lovecraft for a change, namely Robert Jordan, is an American metal band that blends Heavy Metal, (Symphonic) Black metal and Folk metal in a rather diverse début album, dubbed "Curse". What does that remind you of? That's right, the Norwegian metallers Borknagar. Mentioning them in this review feels very wrong, because they have been mentioned in literally every other review about Shadar Logoth, but even they can't deny that Borknagar was a huge influence on them.

Is that bad? Of course not, as there are to my knowledge not a lot of bands that dwell in the same battle worn fields. And they do it good. Heavy Metal melodic riffing, soaring clean vocals alternated with shrieks and growls, covered in layers of symphonics, you know the deal. A few slower parts break up the pace and monotony. It is hard to pinpoint the style exactly and most people will end up calling it Dark Metal, but that doesn't really make it any clearer. Just remember that it is a hybrid of Heavy, Black and Folk with progressive touches and if you like Borknagar, it is for you.

At first I was not impressed, even bored, but after a while it got to me. My problem, but even more so the band's own problem, is the production of this album. Every instrument is balanced well and perfectly audible, but the entire thing sounds very amateurish, as i fit had been recorded in a garage, compressed to low-quality mp3's and then thrown on a cd. Now that might work for more straight-forward Black metal bands, but not for this type of music. They surely hand in some of their strength because of this, which is not a good thing for a blood craving viking warrior.

Labels, listen up. This album is self-released and the band is probably still unsigned, it is up to you to make an end to that shameful situation. I've heard so many shit bands with record deals, how come Shadar Logoth does not? Sure, not every cleanly sung note is perfectly executed (yet) and not every riff is a killer (yet), but the good sides of this début are definitely the dominant factor. Give them a budget, give them some time and these guys will definitely pay you back!

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 5


 



Written on 03.12.2008 by
Lucas
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
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ArcesseEum - 03.12.2008 at 23:38  
I cant take their clean vocals seriously... and their production is awful as you said. I don't usually care about production (Im listening to Xasthur as im writing this) but theres a difference between atmosphere and just plain bad. If you're serious about putting out a record, you can invest 1000$ into a cheap audio interface, some half decent microphones and some software OR just go to a cheap studio.

Do you know where they are from?

ps. Whats wrong with Tolkien and HP Lovecraft!
Lucas - 03.12.2008 at 23:42  
I don't really find anything wrong with the clean vocals, at least 97% of the time they sound good to me.

As for the production, yeah it's bad but that's what you get when you have to release something yourself. And I doubt that you can get some good equipment for only a 1000$, eventhough I'm not an expert in equipment and recording at all.
BitterCOld - 04.12.2008 at 00:18  
Amused to see a WOT reference for a band, although not that surprised, i suppose. "Randland" is fertile ground for pillaging for all sorts of BM-sounding names that break free from the easy out of Tolkien (although not requiring enough creativity to create their own)...
Lucas - 04.12.2008 at 00:25  
Written by BitterCOld on 04.12.2008 at 00:18

Amused to see a WOT reference for a band, although not that surprised, i suppose. "Randland" is fertile ground for pillaging for all sorts of BM-sounding names that break free from the easy out of Tolkien (although not requiring enough creativity to create their own)...


Yeah, Robert Jordan could very well be the 'third inspirational writer' after Lovecraft & Tolkien. If I'm not mistaken I reviewed a Jordan-influenced band before.

(rusty wheels grind in a head that has grown comfortable with the motionless tranquility of the brains of a 17-year old student)

Ah yeah, Nae'blis. Never read the books though.
ArcesseEum - 04.12.2008 at 13:35  
Written by Lucas on 03.12.2008 at 23:42

I don't really find anything wrong with the clean vocals, at least 97% of the time they sound good to me.

As for the production, yeah it's bad but that's what you get when you have to release something yourself. And I doubt that you can get some good equipment for only a 1000$, eventhough I'm not an expert in equipment and recording at all.


Its actually pretty easy if you go for the less expensive stuff:

Audio Interface: 150-300$
Dynamic Mic: 100$
Condensor Mics (lets say 3): 400$
Cubase/Protools: (Torrent... therefore Free)
Learning how to use the stuff: Priceless... (ok ok, lame joke)
BestMetalstormer - 04.12.2008 at 16:29  
Is this one demo of the band ?
Lucas - 04.12.2008 at 20:32  
Written by BestMetalstormer on 04.12.2008 at 16:29

Is this one demo of the band ?


No, this is their debut full-length.
Doc Godin - 07.12.2008 at 10:10  
Normally I don't pay too much attention to your reviews Lucas, not out of dislike for them, but the fact you generally cover genres I have no knowledge or interest in (like depressive doom and black metal etc). But after noticing the mention of a heavy metal/black metal hybrid (heavy metal being my preferred genre and black metal something I dabble in here and there), so I decided to check out the myspace. Your right about the production, something about it does sound sort of amateur-ish. For me its just the clean vocals seem badly timed for some reason. Anyways I noticed how you put (yet) after comments about the vocals and riffs, which is why I have a theory about this band from listening to their myspace. A) I think they'll fall into obscurity or B) If they do pick up their game a little, their next 1-2 albums will be their best, after which they will probably get an over-polished sound. Just a little prediction, we'll play the waiting game and see.

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