Friday, January 13, 2012

Crimson Shadows - Glory On The Battlefield

Having followed Crimson Shadows since 2008, you can bet that I was waiting for this one. They are a unique power/death hybrid, and are one easily one of the most interesting bands in the metal scene today. On paper, combining power and death metal sounds like a great idea, but in practice, it hasn’t worked out too well. Melodic death metal can be great, but it doesn’t quite recognize the potential that this band explores.

With Glory On The Battlefield, Crimson Shadows delivers just over 45 minutes of relentless aggression and melody. The growls of vocalist Jimi Maltais range from the highest of shrieks, to the lows that you would expect in more brutal death metal. This is countered by the vocals of guitarist Greg Rounding, who uses a clean voice for some of the choruses, as well for a great sing-along part in “Lost In A Dark Forest”. Speaking of guitarists, this album features two of the best: the aforementioned Rounding, as well as Ryan Hofing. It’s almost as if Dragonforce became a death metal band. You’ll notice several minutes of non-stop shredding and epic melodies throughout every song. Having seen the band 5 times now, I can account for the fact that these guys are about as tight as any band can get, despite having tons of technicality. Like many metal bands, the bass seems non-existent on this album (it might be…nobody was credited in the liner notes), but the drums do enough to hold down the rhythm section. Cory Hofing uses plenty of double bass and even quite a bit of blasting to increase the intensity.

The songs themselves are unique, even though they share a similar set of characteristics: catchy melodies, interplay between clean and harsh vocals, and plenty of guitar solos. “Quest For The Sword”, for example, features the heaviest moment of the album, where both guitarists chug and mute underneath brutally low growls. This album is full of highlights, but the best songs are those with the catchiest choruses: “Lost In A Dark Forest”, “Journey’s End”, and the crowd-favourite “Kingdom of Ale”. I don’t even drink, but I love screaming along to that last one!

Be sure to check out and like Crimson Shadows on Facebook!

“Kingdom of Ale”
“Lost In A Dark Forest”
“Journey’s End”

Final Rating:
4.6/5 or 92%

Written by Scott