Release DetailsLABEL Lifeforce Records
RELEASED ON 5/15/2007
Shadows Of Vanity
posted on 7/2007 By:
The Metal Review coverage of Hell Within’s debut album provoked many a heated response from readers, enough so to prompt a second review of the album. This review of their next release will likely be less controversial because I hold no animosity for this band. They hail from the ancestral metalcore lands of Massachusetts, but their metalcore leans more towards an accessible hard rock sound than a fists a’flailing mosh sound. This is mainly due to their vocal approach, which involves clean rock-styled vocals over harder backing music. These songs would sound just as natural with a pure screamer or growler, and they do mix in some harsher vocals when appropriate. Musically, they play fast with a dose of groove, but drumming, that is very prominent drumming, acts to mask some of the riffing, marring what is otherwise a commendable production job. When it shines through, the guitars have a nice tone, particularly on solos where the highs are bright but not painfully so.
“Lay Down Your Arms” is representative about what is right and wrong with Shadows of Vanity. They start off by singing a line and then dive right into a well-done solo. For the vast middle of the song they rapidly shift between verses and choruses and tempo shifts and blast beats in a very scattered manner, finishing off with another enjoyable solo. Each little slice of the song stands on its own merits, but they are smashed together haphazardly. Hell Within seem to have too many good ideas floating through their heads, like a talented musician with ADHD. Matt’s able singing smoothes out some of the jaggedness, and his deep growls bring a devilish grimace to my face.
Hell Within have obvious ability and potential to muscle their way into the front ranks of the metalcore scene if they can streamline their song composition by a small degree. When this is playing and my attention is elsewhere, the album pleases, but less so under closer scrutiny. Shadows of Vanity is not a bad album by any means, but I feel that they have more in them. Hell Within will appeal more to Trivium and All That Remains fans than they would to followers of Terror or All Out War.
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