If your a fan of All That Remains, you MUST own this cd. Not that it sounds like ATR, but hearing Phil at such a young age is priceless. As for a Shadows Fall fan, its still good. Being mixed by Adam D. of Killswitch, the mix on this album is somewhat…’mushy’ oddly enough. Then again, this was recorded in ‘97, so some leeway should be given. Evidence of death vocals is prominent on this album, for fans of “The Weak Willed” and “Six” by ATR, so the vocals should tickled your fancy. The first 5 tracks are the best on the disc, and show a wide range of musical talent and range. Overall, this record should be picked up. It holds up for fans of both bands alike.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
This album is excellent, but did take a little getting used to because of the sketchy production and its grind/death style. I’m a little more into grindcore now than i was back then, (Between the Buried and Me’s new album “Colors” is phenomenal)so I would appreciate this more now.
Reviewers definitley have been right on about the production but they were on a little indie label in 97′ and still working in malls so its understandable. Regardless, the musicianship shines thru as some of the best work they’ve ever done.
Something better about Shadows Fall back then was their singer, Phil Labonte of All That Remains. He is a MUCH better singer than Brian Fair, Fair couldn’t hold a candle to Phil. And All That Remains is a much better band in my opinion, if you like the vocals on this, you’ll definitley dig All That Remains’ albums “This Darkened Heart” and “Fall of Ideals”, both are amazing in different ways. The instrumental on This Darkened Heart called “Regret Not” has to be one of the best metal instrumentals I’ve ever heard. Peace, I’m out.
Shadows Fall debuted with this album, a slice of aggressive, although diverse metalcore. Boston, MA has emerged as a sort of capital for metalcore bands in recent years, and this band played a significant part in the burgeoning scene. With that aside, I feel that Somber Eyes To The Sky stands as the band’s greatest musical statement, despite an apparent number of flaws.
Due to lousy production, the songs suffer during the transitions from acoustic breaks to pummeling riff assaults, much like in the second track “Pure”. I noticed that the drummer falls behind during more of the technically demanding parts, but on a debut album this can be overlooked. The layered vocals and graceful guitar harmonies deserve praise, and the band never steps into self-indulgent territories. Although the second half of the album isn’t as strong as the first, I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys hardcore, metalcore, or “Gothenburg” tinged metal.
Originally released in 1998, this Shadows Fall CD features original lead singer Phil Labonte, who is now with a great death metal band called All That Remains. Although some of these songs were re-recorded for the latest release “Of One Blood”, this is still a great CD to pick up, particularly if you prefer death metal vocals. Although Shadows Fall is not considered to be a death metal band (especially now), Labonte brought that element to the band in a very positive way. Although I personally prefer “Of One Blood”, “Somber Eyes to the Sky” is great and well deserving of 5 stars! Shadows Fall fans really should pick up both of these CD’s. Also, be sure to check out All That Remains, you’ll be glad you did!
Okay, I’ll be honest, being from Massachusetts originally myself, seeing that Shadows Fall was from Springfield was the first thing that caught my attention. However, I picked up their sophomore album OF ONE BLOOD a year ago and was blown away. This, their 1997 debut, is a fantastic fusion of hardcore, thrash, and death metal, forming a super sort of progressive metal reminiscent of Slayer and early Metallica.Enter the realm of Jonathan Donais and Matthew Bachand, best new guitar duo. They can do speed metal, make really heavy crunches (without following the trend of low-tuned guitars), and can play acoustic beautifully. Jonathan, the lead guitarist, is absolutely fantastic, creating great melodies and harmonies in the solos. And they can sing pretty well, too!Philip Labonte, their original vocalist, does a good job with his throaty death metal growl, but he can sing pretty well also. It was shortly after this album that he got replaced with Brian Fair, who is somewhat better with his vocal range.Holding up the rhythm section are Paul Romanko on bass (very good) and David Germain on drums (as any GOOD death metal/thrash drummer can do, he does far more than just endless double-bass drum kicks, which though fun, can be monotonous–he gives just the right amounts at just the right times).Standout songs on this album include “Nurture”, “Revel in My Loss”, and “Lead Me Home”, the latter being a beautiful semi-acoustic instrumental ballad with tranquil synthesized sounds of nature at the intro and outro. “Eternal” and “Lifeless” are also terrific.A bit more raw than their later efforts, and with a just-not-quite-as-good vocalist, this album is still nonetheless a terrific debut from a great, original Massachusetts metal band. And best of all, I’ll be seeing them at Ozzfest this summer!