Fallout From the War (Century Media)
by Eric Chon
It’s been about a year since Shadows Fall released the amazing The War Within, and they’ve already gone and conquered the metal world. Stellar sales and high-profile concerts have made them the metal buzz band, and we all know how much we, the diehard fans, love that. Nevermind that they’ve made the jump from Century Media to Atlantic, the cries of “sellout” can already be heard.
But until we can bring our judgement down upon that future album, we have their last offering with Century Media, Fallout From The War. And as the title would lead you to believe, Fallout… acts like a companion piece, replete with covers, re-recordings, unreleased material, and a few new tunes, just to keep you on your toes.
So, does it rock? The short answer is yes. Even though this is essentially “Leftovers From The War,” table scraps from the Shadows Fall plate are better than most bands’ entrees (okay, that was a horrible analogy, I apologize)! With six originals, two re-recordings, and three covers, Fallout… remains diverse and never fails to keep its momentum going strong.
Opener “In Effegy” certainly sounds like it could’ve fit right into The War Within comfortably. It’s got that driving rhythm and deft guitarwork we’ve come to expect from these Massachusetts natives. “Carpal Tunnel” has a progressive feel that marries their powerful thrash roots and their love of melody perfectly, while “Going, Going, Gone” is full-bore blastfest that has death-metal intensity and the sickest breakdown ever. Of the two re-recorded tunes, “Deadworld” is a real treat, harkening back to the very beginning of the band. It’s an epic and gigantic song that traverses much ground and really shines as the album’s highlight
It never hurts to pay your influences a visit, and the three cover tunes (Only Living Witness’ “December,” Leeway’s “Mark of the Squealer,” and Dangerous Toys’ “Teasn’ Pleasn'”) are awesome. They really give you a sample of the talent within Shadows Fall: Their ability to deftly jump genres and sounds with the agility of a prizefighter, while giving each song its proper due. A great cap to what could’ve been a throwaway concept.