|Shadows Entwined - Divine Darkness
01. Prelude To Oblivion
02. Nightmares Made Flesh
03. A Sign Of Ages
04. Voices From Beyond
05. Persecution Of Souls
06. For Those Without Redemption
07. Plague Of Nations
08. Rise To Conquer
09. The Silent Infamy
10. When Darkness Mourns
Shadows Entwined are an unsigned quintet out of Los Angeles, California who do love their power metal. The band's first full-length - completely self-financed and an independent recording - Divine Darkness is 10 tracks, 50 minutes of some rip-roaring power metal fun.
All the accoutrements that power metal fans do so love can be found... bombast, tons of energy, riffs galore, rampaging drums, guitar solos all over the place and high pitched vocals reminiscent of, but not nearly as annoying as, Rhapsody of Copyright Infringement... it's all in here. However there are a couple elements that I, as one not particularly fond of power metal, thought made this stand out from some of the 'giants' in the field I have taken the time to check out.
For starters, it's got some balls to it. While the production is slick (more on that later), the total sound is not so slick as to make it a product/commodity rather than a piece of musical expression. Too many acts are so slick and nice and shiny that they are, well, powerless metal. This is not the case with Divine Darkness.
Second, the lyrics are a tad darker than what I am accustomed to within the genre. Sure, they are still power metal and delivered in a power metal fashion, but it's like the lyricist took his nice glass of "Power Metal Soda" and poured in a shot of "Cradle of Borgir" before starting to pen up his verse. It's a nice twist and deviation from "riding sword in hand to mountains blazing with power to slay the evil necro dragon". With a whole bunch of bands within the genre out playing hero, it's a good thing to play the role of anti-hero.
I think what is perhaps most impressive is knowing that this album was completely self-financed by the band. Frankly, it's a complete package. The production is surprisingly good given lack of label backing. The drums pound along crisply, driving the songs. The guitar tone is great, particularly on the solos. Ok, the bass is a bit MIA, but no more so than Jason Newsted in Metallica's ... And Justice. Even the packaging itself is really well done, a real cd with a nice color booklet complete with artwork, band pics, and lyrics... As a whole it it is impressive given the self-financed nature of the entire project. Shadows Entwined really do deserve credit for their obvious dedication and investment into this process.
For those of you metalstormers who like your power metal, and I know there are an awful lot of you, this is undoubtedly worth checking out. I think it stands up against, and over in some cases, some recent offerings from the more popular bands in the field.
Highlight tracks include "Nightmares Made Flesh", the beautiful but short acoustic interlude, "Voices From Beyond" and "For Those Without Redemption" which contains all the key elements and a pretty cool solo segment around the four minute mark reminiscent of the choppy-phrased solo in Iron Maiden's "Aces High",.
Written on 13.07.2009 by
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.