Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shadowfost - "Essence // Mindscape" CD

From Italy comes this quartet who have a sound noticeably founded on black metal, but with an added technologically-curious thrash element. Like early Fear Factory, Shadowfost harness breakneck tempos, but add their own contemporary spin on the tired and overplayed death/thrash genre. Stellar production and dense layering of sounds (are those samples?) make this one a definite bass-bin boomer with a good amount of sound depth. "Fear Shaped World" is a winner, with a super-huge guitar and scathing vocals that remind me of Carcass (which several other tracks do, too). The drum sound is also notably huge and pummeling, and "Essence // Mindscape" is a fast and furious album of inhuman speed, intense drums, and hellish vocal torment. My complaint here is that the band so rarely change up tempos during the album's 30+ minutes. It's a strong showing for a debut, but without at least some book-ended ambient or atmospheric flourishes, this one's positively numbing, and ultimately forgettable. (ATMF)

Shadowfost website

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