Highly recommended to all Metal fans all over the globe! That is just how unreal good Retribution from Shadows Fall is… that I start off by just bluntly recommending this new album. Seriously, Retribution is one solid chunk of Thrash Metal Music for me. On this new release, (released September 15, 2009), Shadows Fall sounds as if they are not holding back the hard and heavy for no one. I am not taking the easy way out by saying all ten songs are damn incredible. The all encompassing barrage of Metal fury, that highlights each turn and corner on Retribution, is like a Metal power rush to my brain that I do not want to end. In my Metal opinion, it very much seems as if Shadows Fall took a long and hard listen to the once in a millennium, Metal masterpiece from Slipknot called All Hope Is Gone… and decided they too wanted to raise their own Metal bar. The All Hope Is Gone influence I hear on Retribution, is deserving of a raucous Metal applause for Shadows Fall, for if this influence is to be true… Shadows Fall surely knows real Metal when they hear it. The unrelenting surge of Metal power both musically and vocally, (both lead and backing/gang vocals), found within Retribution, are the best ways I can describe my All Hope Is Gone comparison.
Brian Fair on lead vocals has never sounded this unreal great before, based on what my ears hear on Retribution. Brian Fair shows his harmonious side as a crooner and just as suddenly can deliver the bad ass vocals I have always expected… and he does so with the determination and tenacity of a seasoned Metal pro. If it was ever possible for Jason Bittner to elevate his already incredible Metal talents on drums, well, he did it here on Retribution… whoa. Jonathan Donais on lead guitar, takes full Metal command with creative leads that are above impressive. One recent professionally paid Metal Music critic wrote in the November 2009 issue of Revolver Magazine: “arguably the most mainstream-friendly album the group has made” – (?), uh, I beg to differ. First, I would never equate the word mainstream to Shadows Fall… never, ever, from 1998′s Somber Eyes to the Sky to 2007′s Threads of Life. Now, with Retribution, for this album to even be remotely considered mainstream friendly, well, that is like saying a Pit Viper hanging from a tree limb above your head is friendly too. Nickelback is mainstream friendly, with absolutely no disrespect of course, to them. This is just another perfect Metal example, that there are some Metal Music critics out there that never bother to listen to the album(s) they are being paid to review. Frustrating, to say the least.
My two choice picks on Retribution are: King Of Nothing and Embrace Annihilation. These are the two songs that just embody the core Thrash Metal essence of Retribution, in my Metal opinion. Shadows Fall has made me feel Metal secure, with their creating Retribution, this is an album that encapsulates all things powerful about Thrash Metal. Metal truth be told, I will be recommending this album to anyone who listens for the rest of my Metal life. Musical integrity and the respect for quality song writing are characteristics every band should uphold, Shadows Fall upheld them on Retribution ten fold. Shadows Fall will always have their Metalcore roots, with Retribution, they have imprinted themselves into the Thrash Metal genre like an unstoppable lightning strike.
Shadows Fall are:
Brian Fair on lead vocals
Jonathan Donais on lead guitar/vocals
Matthew Bachand on guitar/vocals
Paul Romanko on bass
Jason Bittner on drums
Retribution was produced by Zeuss and released on Ferret Music and Independent Label Group.