Thursday, March 29, 2012
Crimson Shadows- Glory on the Battlefield
Do you have the favorite staple food where you just love it as it is? You know, like rice or potatoes; they're great by themselves but a little added flavor just makes it even better. Well, let's take that potato and add some taco sauce to that bulbous orb! That's what this band does. Crimson Shadows are a melodic power/death metal group from Ontario, Canada. Yes, Power/death. Imagine 3 Inches of Blood, but even more aggressive. They take two classic styles and blend them together to create a zesty combo that they pull off very well. It's death metal with a hint of power. They aren't progressive like other bands that combine death metal with clean vocals, such as: Entropy, Into Eternity, etc. They're pretty much straight up power-death...if you can say that.
It all kicks off with the two minute instrumental track, "Glory on the Battlefield." Some acoustic guitars strum along as the drums and harmonizing electric guitars kick in. It's as if the bards are playing you a song before you head off into battle. Then it shoots off into "Battle Hard" where its galloping rhythm running off into a fast pace. The combination of harsh/clean vocals are used tastefully. The harsh growls and screams are used for the verses while the clean vocals take the lead on the catchy choruses. Not to mention, lots of widdly-wooing guitars. There's enough shredding to satisfy the guitar-geeks here, which is something that's prevalent in the power and death metal genres.
The guitar work on this album is stellar. Tracks like "For the Glory of the Throne," "Beyond the Mountain Wasteland," and "Quest for the Sword" have some awesome musicianship. "For the Glory of the Throne" has some slamming riffs, a little bit on the thrashy side when combined with the aggressive drumming. "Quest for the Sword" starts off with a slow, acoustic instrumentation and then BAM! it hits you right in the nads with some speedy riffs and growls. The power metal schooling really compliments the death metalness. There's a wee spot of a breakdown in "Quest" but I find it to be the only one and it's not like a breakdown you'd hear from an apple-core band. as it has some shreddy bits in it. They go out with a bang on the last track. They slow down the tempo and go with a catchy lead from the guitars, building up the tempo from a mid-tempo anthem to a fast gallop of shred.
I'm usually not a huge fan of death metal vocals, but when it's done in an interesting way such as this I can't help but like it. It's different. They aren't some generic Cannibal Corpse-rip-off death metal band nor are they like the "flowery" symph-power metal bands. I would definitely recommend this for fans that like Helloween and are interested in getting into some "heavier" music without finding some schmuck band that plays 300 bpm the whole time. It's also for the death metal fans that are just plain tired of the watered-down br00tality-fest that plagues the genre. I would have loved to hear a bit more cleaner vocals and maybe one more slower song personally, but the music is still very top-notch. The clever combo of such genres is very well done and I'm looking forward to any new music by these guys.