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Shadowside – ‘Shades of Humanity’

posted 2 Nov 2017, 09:46 by Paul Woodward

(EMP)

Review by Woody

Shadowside are a Swedish / Brazilian hybrid and this metal act are fronted by female vocalist Dani Nolden. ‘Shades Of Humanity’ is a very hard album for me to pass judgement on as all that keeps going through my head when listening to it is these songs are far too heavy and aggressive for my own personal tastes. So been able to give the thumbs up or down is not something I feel confident in doing – I can only state my opinion which I’m sure could be easily dismissed by fans of this style of metal when they hear it.

Vocalist Dani Nolden has a gritty voice, I hear touches of Doro to her style and tone. She provides plenty of screaming angst-ridden vocals, usually during the verses which is blended with a slicker smoother approach on the choruses. The song structures throughout the album tend to follow a similar theme of heavy pounding verses with angsty vocals with the choruses having a soaring sweeping feel, which gives the songs a slight epic feel, but if found the aggressive guitars and rhythms hampered the impact of the choruses.

‘Drifter’ is probably the closest they get to been commercial, there is a cool industrial guitar lick which I did enjoy and the song did veer slightly into old school metal territory in the guitar approach. With the album closer ‘Alive’ they do come close to a slightly symphonic epic feeling track which appealed more to me, but it was just an edge to the song not a full-blown stab at symphonic metal.

‘Shades of Humanity’ is far too discordant musically for me, when it comes to metal I like it to be very slick, produced, strongly melodic and usually with a commercial edge. The pounding and industrial guitars which remind me a bit of Korn on a few songs, just don’t appeal to me they feel dull and lifeless. Although I know they achieve that heaviness and thud the band were aiming for. The fast paced and aggressive drums and bass I found overpowering and on the choruses, I felt killed potentially intriguing melodies. Personally, Shadowside are not for me – but given that this music is not really on my taste spectrum I really encourage fans of female fronted metal (Kobra and The Lotus ect...) to give the album a listen regardless of my thoughts as it may tick all the right boxes for you.

Track Listing: The Fall / Beast Inside / What If / Make My Fate / Insidious Me / The Crossing / Stream of Shame / Parade the Sacrifice / Drifter / Unreality / Alive

Album Rating: 5/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Drifter

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