This is studio album number seven for the metal legends that are Shadows Fall. It’s actually quite refreshing that they haven’t just put out yet another compilation album, mainly because they’re at the point now where they’re expected to try something new and not just rehash their old material. Luckily, Shadows Fall have delivered.
‘Fire From The Sky’ is based around the idea of the impending apocalypse/doom predicted by the Mayans. Vocalist Brain Fair has stated that it is not a concept album, just that every song on the album takes inspiration from the approaching destruction of the world. So, not a concept album, yet every song is about the armageddon? Okay then.
These guys really don’t dick about on this album and waste no time by immediately launching into the blistering guitar riff of ‘The Unknown’, which metapohrically sucker punches you in the face as soon as you hit play. The lack of an intro or build up really takes you by surprise and is an interesting change of pace from your standard metal album and, as a whole, is a specatuclar example of metal music at its finest. The lyrics are thought provoking, the guitar riffs ring true and will have your head banging thoughout, not to mention the drums and bass blend together to create a sublime rhythm for each song.
The balance between clean and screaming vocals on this album is perfect, adding emphasis to the choruses, yet not detracting from the overall aggression of the breakdowns and verses, somewhat similar to what All That Remains do. There are times where gang vocals are present and I’m in two minds whether they belong here or not, however, I then imagine these songs live and the whole crowd chanting along, with their fists pumping the air and I can see why Shadows Fall chose to include them.
Although their last album, ‘Retribution’, wasn’t quite up to the Shadows Fall par, it was still a mighty fine album and paved the way for new ideas. They build on these ideas in ‘Fire From The Sky’, allowing the band to progress their sound. What they’ve expertly done though is take a step forward, music wise, yet kept the elements of their old material strong, as a result leaving something here to please both fans old and new.
Although the songs tend to get a tad weaker as you work your way though the album, this is a solid 10 tracks of well written metal. Kudos Shadows Fall, kudos.
Written by Andrew Roberts