It’s been a couple of years since I last crossed paths with Finnish death metallers Shadecrown, when I reviewed their excellent Riven album for Sentinel Daily, and I’m pleased to say that the band are in fine fettle again on new effort Solitarian.
As I said originally, the band term the music they make as doom-death, but they do lean heavily on the death side of that coin for the most part. That’s not to say it’s necessarily what they do best, but it does form the major component of their sonic makeup.
Aeon’s Still is a great track, combining elements of other great Finnish bands like Children of Bodom and Amorphis to great effect, but in this reviewer’s opinion the band make most sense on the following track, Crestfallen…
It’s here that they really do push the doom to the forefront, along with some good, old-fashioned prog touches thanks to the superb keyboard touches supplied by Saku Tammelin; here you can really hear the band’s craftsmanship in action, and they follow the same path on the epic closing track, which also happens to be the title track.
Solitarian is easily the most ambitious thing Shadecrown have attempted to date, weaving elements of Paradise Lost, Swallow the Sun and Amorphis via Jari Hokka‘s vast vocal presence seamlessly with some crunchy rifferama from Tomi Tikka and Joonas Vesamäki. As the song gains momentum around the four minute mark, you feel yourself really up for the ride, fully invested in seeing where the band take you on their gargantuan trek.
It’s quite a journey – even the eighties prog of bands like Marillion sees the light of day in Tikka and Vesamäki’s slick guitar work – but it is totally worth the time taken to immerse oneself in Shadecrown’s vision.
These are exciting times for this band, who have simultaneously managed to serve up music that entrenched fans will love whilst proving that their capacity for development and progress would appear to be limitless. A win-win situation for sure, and one from which the band can only move onwards and upwards! Congratulations to all involved!
Solitarian releases on September 17th.