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Shadowbane - 'Facing The Fallout' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/a4/28/fd/Shadowbane-Facing-The-Fallout-15-1432929074.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 29, 2015    
 
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Their no frills, head down brand of Metal is a breath of fresh air and comes highly recommended.

At Christmas there's nothing quite like a big slap up food fest and going overboard with all the trimmings. After a few days however it's quite a relief to get back to normal and have something more basic, you really can't beat a nice plate of beans on toast.

The same theory can apply to music; it's certainly great to hear over blown, grandiose Symphonic Rock with bombastic orchestras and raging choirs or wonderfully complex, Prog epics that move from tempo to tempo and through different moods and atmospheres at the drop of a hat. Yet there's something immensely satisfying about some good old, down to earth, no messing Metal. No orchestras, keyboards or strings just riffs, drums and more riffs. Well, Shadowbane might just be the perfect antidote to all the fragmentation and sub-genres that have sprung up over the years.

'Facing The Fallout' is the debut release from the Hamburg-based five-piece as 'Red Alert' sets the scene with sounds of a post-apocalyptic wasteland before kicking in with 'Beyond The Winds Of War' and what a cracking way to start their first album. Huge riffs, thumping double bass drums and suitably menacing vocals all wrapped up in a powerful, punchy production show that Shadowbane mean business. 'Traitor' is even better with more hammer-hard drumming and twin guitar riffage that gets suitably brutal during an inspired chorus.

There's a big NWOBHM-influence throughout the album with Iron Maiden, Heavy Load and Angel Witch being suitable references all wrapped up in a reassuring Metal coating that would do 'Painkiller' era Judas Priest proud. Vocalist Stefan may have a limited range, yet his voice suits the music perfectly, coming across like a more melodic Paul Di'Anno or Blaze Bayley with, surprisingly enough, a little twist of Johnny Rotten just lingering in the background on occasions.

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Anyone wanting to check out the band would be strongly advised to listen to 'Dystopia'; an absolute steam roller of a track with a razor sharp riff that heads into a glorious Eastern-tinged harmony that will stay buried in your head for weeks, before slamming into the main course. The twin guitars of Lukas and Markus soar and scream, trading off each other like the best of Tipton and Downing before more power house riffing brings things to a cataclysmic ending. This is quite stunning.

Shadowbane have come right out of the blue to start the year off a veritable bang and 'Facing The Fallout' acts as a reminder as to why we fell in love with this type of music in the first place. Their no frills, head down brand of Metal is a breath of fresh air and comes highly recommended.

Mick Burgess

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