|Genre||Melodic Heavy Metal|
|Release Date||3 September 2019|
It’s always nice to hear great metal coming out of my home country. It’s not like there aren’t any awesome Canadian metal bands, but, since I listen mostly to power metal and folk metal, it’s not very often I have one cross my path compared to countries like, say, Sweden. The female-fronted Shades of Sorrow are one such band whom I had never heard of before listening to their latest record, Paradox, which is actually their third album to date.
Stylistically, Shades of Sorrow contains a lot of that cool attitude that you would find in bands like Paramore (you know, before they started pumping out absolute fucking garbage circa 2010) with a melodic heavy metal spin. There’s nothing in Paradox to make you piss your pants or anything, but it’s a pretty fun listen regardless.
Unfortunately, Paradox begins at its lowest point. It’s pretty laid back and basic compared to the rest of the album, but ‘Follow Me Down to Hell’ is watered down and sells the rest of the album short. While we’re on the topic of shortcomings, I might as well get the rest out of the way. My biggest issue with Paradox is simply that I find myself wanting more from it a lot of the time. Take the lead vocals for example. It’d be a lie to say Monise Ouelette isn’t a good vocalist, because she definitely is. However, there isn’t enough expression to highlight the choruses or climaxes. She clearly shows in ‘Notorious’ and ‘Facade’ that she’s capable of bringing the oomph and attitude, so it’s not like she’s incapable of pounding out better hooks.
That isn’t to say that this is a bad album, though. As I mentioned before, it’s fucking cool. Like, leather-jacket-cigarette-guy-walking-away-from-an-explosion cool. The super chunky rhythm guitar crafts some beefy riffs, and the mastering allows for a raw, gritty sound. The melodies are also killer, and it’s great to hear melodies that swing with decent meter. Additionally, for a borderline-EP, there’s a good deal of variety. While a lot of the tracks are super heavy, they’re all dynamic in their own rite. Although, ‘Paradox’ changes it up, as it’s driven mostly by lighter acoustic work. For me, ‘Fractured’ makes it as my personal favourite, largely due to the jazzy melodies alongside such rough rhythm parts and the fact that the entire band is on fucking point.
If you’re looking to expand your musical horizons a bit by giving an underground band some love, check out these guys. While it’s definitely not perfect, it’s a unique album with emotion as raw as its production.
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