Release DetailsLABEL Galy
RELEASED ON 3/28/2006
Shades of Dusk
Caress The Despair
posted on 5/2006 By:
A surprisingly promising Canadian entry into the crowded melodic death metal fray...
From the usually brutal Galy Records comes a debut effort from this young Quebec band, who though playing a genre that’s got more albums than Jenna Jameson has taken facials, manages to deliver the good in somewhat of a nostalgic manner.
While most modern melodic death metal has modernized with either a more brutal take (Fragments of Unbecoming, The Forsaken, Detonation), programming and clean vocals (In Flames and their 1000's of clones) or simply gets tagged as metalcore (As Hope Dies, All That Remains), Shades of Dusk are actually wrought in the early 90s style of melodic death metal; (that means to you young’uns weaned on ‘core based melodic death metal), death metal that happens to be melodic. The distinct Dark Tranquillity (circa Skydancer and the Of Chaos and Eternal Night EP), Sacrilege or even Lothlorien-ish (remember them?) gregarious frivolity of the guitars has that tangible folk/Renn metal flair and is intricately layered rather than simplified and doused with production values. Arsis might be the closest contemporary comparison but only if you slowed them down and lowered the quality a tad. Enough moments in the album's first half such as impressive, twiddle heavy opener “Shaped To Symbolize”, “the mid section of standout “The Mournful Dawn of Existence”, the melancholy (An emotion missing in NWSDM since the late 90s), “A Dreadful Melody”, and “As Daylight Fades”, and the busy “Into the Abyss of Torment” are very enjoyable examples of classic melodic death metal done right.
That being said, Shades of Dusk are a bit inconsistent and repetitive as the album wears on. Jeffrey Chouinard’s genre specific rasp, though free from clean segues is pretty monotone and the random deep growls seem a bit forced. The last three tracks, “Caress the Despair”, “Upon Burning Wings” and “Shades of Dusk”, seem to run out of steam and ideas, ultimately sounding like a rehashing of the album's first 2/3. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the band's youth seems to expose itself.
The Yannick St Armand (Neuraxis, Ion Dissonance, Despised Icon) production isn’t his usual crisp brutal sound, but a more primal and brisk sound more suited to this genre rather than deathcore and it works.
Shades of Dusk are definitely a band to keep an eye on as they seem to carry with them the true legacy of melodic death metal and with some experience and fine tuning could turn out to be as special as Arsis.
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