Since forming between 2007-2009, Germany’s Shadowbane have been rocking stages in their homeland and are now set to introduce themselves to the world with the full-length debut, Facing the Fallout available January 16, 2015. The quintet from Hamburg is compiled of Stefan providing vocals, guitarists Lukas and Markus, Mortiz on bass and drummer Rene. Shadowbane issued a demo EP, Dystopia, in 2010 and have progressed in their sound
for this effort. Their music is described as “post-apocalyptic power metal” that is positioned between melodic US power metal and raw Teutonic steel with dystopic lyrics. Facing the Fallout promises mostly fast songs and contemporary production without leaving any doubt of their musical roots in 80’s & 90’s power metal, featuring melodic vocals and the thrashy riffs and melodic harmonies of the dual guitarists.
Not being a particular fan of intros I usually find them to be basically a waste of time, but I suppose the windswept waves that lead to the clanging of a bell and air raid siren of Facing the Fallout‘s :50 opener “Red Alert” do fit in quite well with the motif of the band and album. From there we explode into “Beyond the Winds of War” for nearly five minutes of blissful headbanging riffages
and some solid vocals delivered by Stefan. “Traitor” keeps things charging forward in the same vein with some excellent melodies, guitar solos and a chorus guaranteed to have you chanting along! The album’s lead single and video, “Under Bleeding Skies”, is the longest running track of Facing the Fallout at just over the six-minute mark. The video itself was directed by Peter Gerulat, features actress Sandra Quadflieg and was previewed at the Great Lakes International Film Festival in Erie, Pennsylvania in September 2014. “After the Fallout” rips through the speakers next as my hand goes to increase the volume controls while “Dystopia” keeps up the headbanging and finds me chanting right along with the chorus, fist raised! “Tear Down the Wall” is no change from the formula established so far and that’s a good thing, but “Badlands Law” could be the crowning glory of Facing the Fallout. “Last Division” and “Source of Grief” both uphold the themes (and your fist) to bring the album to a close in strong fashion.
Bottom line: This is a solid debut effort for these guys from Hamburg, Germany and I enjoyed listening to the album but sadly it will probably not become a “go to” choice for me and may get lost in my massive collection as there’s just not enough hooks or distinction to warrant one track over another or this album over some of the bigger names. There is, however, great promise for the future of Shadowbane, the groundwork having been solidly laid down.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pure Steel Promotions