Ride the War Within
Occasionally the tides come to wash away what’s become stale and stagnant on the shores of rock music. In this case, it’s the backwards-cap-wearing wanna-be’s spewing mediocre hip-hop over even more mediocre rock music that is thankfully going the way of the Dodo. So just like fashion, music and everything else in current pop-culture, it’s time to welcome back the 80’s. In this case, it’s the brutally fast rock sound that Metallica helped cultivate – back when they still had hair. Leading the charge of this reinvented sound is Shadows Fall, with their fourth release The War Within.
Would everyone please give a warm welcome back to the sorely missed guitar solo? Yes, it’s been awhile, but with bands like Shadows Fall at the helm of heavy music today, hopefully it won’t be going anywhere soon. Indeed, The War Within is a riveting affair–filled with ten mini-epics that even James Hetfield himself would give a proverbially approving nod to. Songs like “What Drives the Weak” showcases a band that’s trying to push the limits of its genre by experimenting with softer, even somber emotionally driven music while still maintaining a “kill-everything-that-moves” attitude, an interesting and surprisingly listenable balance. And oh yes–the solos are frequent and fast, technical but not too over the top.
The War Within showcases not only a reinvention of the heavy music genre, but also a welcomed progression within it. And while Shadows Fall are just putting their own spin on a somewhat older genre, it’s still a hell of a lot better than the last Limp Bizkit record.