by Chris Fox
East coast, heavy metal monsters, SHADOWS FALL, find themselves on the razor’s edge between the new school and the old. Having 12 years of playing under their belts, and the dissident edge of the eastern metal scene, this quintet delve into a melodically aggressive area of music. As singer Brian Fair explains, “it’s a cross section of metal influences over the last few decades,” and the diversity is instantly apparent. With influences ranging from Iron Maiden to their favorites from the underground scene, SHADOWS FALL spawn their latest creation “Retribution.”
The newest album, as Fair describes, is “aggressive, and has a live energy feel… it’s best to describe as, we were writing at full volume.” The combination of singing and screaming is a pleasant twist that these guys bring to the metal genre. Their aggression can be heard in every word, whether it is sung or strained through the vocal chords of Fair. The inspiration, he explains, derives from “personal experience, but the sound of the music itself becomes an inspiration,” and drives the developing sound of each song. Fair is infamous for his extremely long dreadlocks that he has been working on for about 17 years. The influence is similar to the inspiration for the lyrics, Fair explains, “they have become more of a history lesson… they are a representation of my trials, and I have to take them with me everywhere I go.” Fair also cites growing up in the eclectic hardcore metal scene of the east coast as a definitive influence of their sound and a huge inspiration to try new things with their music.
Their hardcore influence is obvious with their live show. Fair explains, “we are a live band first and foremost… the genre dives that as well,” and one of the best things about touring is “[the] performance every night.” Fair continues, “touring becomes like a cannonball run… strapping the helmets on, and run.” They are learning love the studio, and their maturing albums are reflecting such, but this band needs to be seen live to truly be appreciated. “It’s a tough time to do anything with the economy… anybody that becomes a touring metal musician to make money is a complete fool,” Fair explains, “I feel lucky to play metal as a living.”
Their goal is to “continue to keep all metal influences alive in modern metal… keep all the flames of the past burning,” explains Fair. The vocals and guitar work that emerges resembles classic metal influences like Iron Maiden to more modern metal wonders like Pantera, and Fair’s ability to combine singing and screaming really helps create a diverse pallet for SHADOWS FALL. They’ve become “a literal cross section of different eras of metal,” Fair continues. The intense touring has helped shape their perspective on culture, explains Fair, “everyone is so similar, we are all so much the same.” This is another ideal of the heavy metal genre, and the ideas of unity that their aggressive music creates.
SHADOWS FALL just had their most recent album, “Retribution” drop, and they are heading out on tour with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. Like the true metal musicians that they are, they are looking forward to many months of serious touring. Check them out at the Orpheum in Madison on October 16.(4576) Page Views Shadows Fall Online:
CD: Retribution Record Label: Ferret Records
• Purchase Retribution on Amazon
• Download Retribution on Amazon