The Art of Balanceby Shadows Fall
In The Art of Balance, Shadows Fall has created a modern heavy metal album that is both brutal and highly musical, traditional yet forward-thinking. Songs like the complex "Stepping Outside the Circle" demonstrate not only crushing heaviness, but an impressive grasp on dynamics, melody, and arrangement. Brian Fair's vocals oscillate from articulate melodicism to sheer, throat-tearing menace, while Jonathan Donais' guitar work combines pounding, metallic crunch with careful virtuosity. Amidst the full-throttle rockers that make up the bulk of the album are a couple of short instrumentals ("Casting Shade," "Prelude to Disaster") that offer a few well-placed moments of quiet atmosphere. The cover of Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine," placed at the end of the disc, is stylishly well-executed, but seems a tad out of place nonetheless.
- Release Date:
- Century Media
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This album came at a perfect time for me, just when I thought all the values of true metal were forgotten, this hit the shelves. Their last album sounded a little too much like "In Flames" to me, but this shows the band finding their sound. Jonathan Donais' guitar work is a lot better than all of the newer death metal bands and Brian Fair's vocals have destroying and healing powers, whether he's singing or screaming at the top of his lungs. The only thing I have a problem with on this album is the last track, "Welcome To The Machine," it's a good song, don't get me wrong, but I feel like it doesn't really belong on the album. Otherwise, this album is great and I expect even greater albums from this band as time goes on.
If you were a fan of Metallica in the 80s or Slayer, or pretty much any thrash band of that decade, you'll more than likely enjoy this album. The thing that makes this stuff so much better than nu metal: guitar solos, nice long ones. It reminds you of a time when metal had a melody, yet still aggressive. I really enjoy these songs, plus this band is so non-commercial, it's refreshing.
Already having "The War Within" by Shadows Fall, I decided to get another one of their CDs. I received "Art of Balance" on my B-Day and let me tell you: It. Kicks. A$$. The music is loud and upbeat: the guitars and bass have a speed of their own, the drums are flying everywhere, and the vocals are screaming, growling, singing! This band very much reminds me of Metallica, except a Metallica of this generation. They are loud and just something definetly to bang your head to. So, if you like Shadows Fall already, Metallica, metal rock, or have an open-mind to music in general, then I advise you to check out the samples. If you like what you hear, then I recommened you buy the CD: YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!! (I sure wasn't.)