Release DetailsLABEL Osmose Productions
RELEASED ON 4/27/2006
Terminus Ante Quem
posted on 6/2006 By:
Considering the fact that not only are Shadows Land amongst the ranks of the Polish death metal regime, but Shadows Land have landed themselves a spot on the lineup for a European tour featuring Hate Eternal and Spawn of Possession, I’m extremely shocked that prior to signing up for the review I was in no way familiar with the band.
In the most direct way possible, Shadows Land play a peculiar blend of futuristic/industrial black/death metal that finds itself firmly grounded in the Polish metal tradition, but bloody hell these guys have a particular affinity for what everyone else does. The passing similarity and overall comparability of a band to others is to be expected within such a large scene, but damn they sound worse than the usual Vader/Behemoth clone because in effect, they sound almost exactly like Behemoth except only if they had only played filler and had never progressed past Satanica.
Shadows Land does have a slightly adventurous nature that does manifest itself time and time again throughout the album; their ability to utilize industrial flares within their music is one of the more interesting points of Terminus Ante Quem to say the least. In fact, this is the only real facet of their music that exhibits any sense of originality or creativity that would possibly separate them from their peers. However, I’m not exactly sure these quirks, which find themselves riddled throughout the album, separate them in a pleasant way considering it’s either their saving grace or their coup de grace depending. Disappointingly the foreground and background ambiance exhibited nicely on “The Energy of Masses” is usually little more than extremely grating and oftentimes wanders into territory that is a downright annoying waste of time like with tracks “Interlude” and “Space of Light”. The industrial parts tend to miss the intended mark completely by falling short of any sense of integration or capability that a band like Hate achieved on Anaclasis (albeit Hate utilized them in a more subtle way rather than the very upfront reliance seen here).
It should be said that Shadows Land have “found themselves” musically by this time, marching forward with a rather determined fuck the consequences attitude displayed by the seriousness and I assume passion they display. Terminus Ante Quem carries itself on a direct vision of purpose aided by each member of Shadows Land’s relative ability to handle themselves behind their respective instruments with a spirited display that is in fact better than most half-rate attempts at Polish death metal. Granted Shadows Land is wholly unimaginative, uninspired, and rifled with moments of unadulterated cliché that stabs at the listener with a pretentious air of feigned adequacy. I’m sure Shadows Land fancy themselves technical/complex, but they’re in fact rudimentary, simple, and horribly predictable.
Though I can’t imagine that much has changed since Ante Christum (Natum), from what I have heard of that album it was a good bit more palatable than this one. Nor does the production help the overall impression of the record considering how overly produced yet still extremely weak, flat, and noticeably loose everything is. It’s not really that Terminus Ante Quem is boring per se (it at the very least keeps you on your toes), it’s just excruciatingly unappealing the majority of its duration. The songwriting is pretty damn hit or miss as a product which in my opinion exhibits very little maturity and even less competence in the fact that the album is downright close to unlistenable. Saying this is a niche album is a hell of an understatement and chances are I just don’t fully appreciate their odd style or completely understand exactly what they’re going for, but I’m not exactly thrilled about the idea to keep listening to find out.
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