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The Art Of Balance

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Idle Hands
2. Thoughts Without Words
3. Destroyer Of Senses
4. Casting Shade
5. Stepping Outside The Circle
6. The Art Of Balance
7. Mystery Of One Spirit
8. The Idiot Box
9. Prelude To Disaster
10. A Fire In Babylon
11. Welcome To The Machine

Review by Allan on December 19, 2002.

In the year 2000 North America’s very own Shadows Fall unleashed their follow up to their debut album, titled “Of One Blood”. It was that album that first brought Shadows Fall the recognition that they needed. Now Shadows Fall are coming back, and I’m here to tell you that the third album, “The Art Of Balance,” is the most refined Shadows Fall has been yet.

“The Art Of Balance” is a more polished Shadows Fall – simple as that. Whether that is enough for you is up to you. What that means is that Shadows Fall aren’t making any leaps of faith with their sound, nor are they flexing their creativity muscles. Nonetheless, “The Art Of Balance” is quite a strong album.

Shadows Fall continues to encompass their blend of influences into their own stylish sound. Thrash, power, classic heavy metal, death, hardcore, and of course that melodic Swedish brand of metal. It comes out nicely, and as the title suggests, “The Art Of Balance” is indeed a nicely planned album. Each song carries its own weight and has distinctive features that separate it from the rest of the songs. The twin guitar melodies on “The Art Of Balance” are still around, yet this time they’re improved and tend to be more syncopated, one of the things that haunted Shadows Fall in the past. The solos are also still prevalent, and sound equally as good as they did in the past. Shadows Fall continues to use their multi-vocal attack. Shadows Fall offers hardcore screams, death vocals, clean vocals, and more in their music. This keeps “The Art Of Balance” interesting, at least in that aspect.

There is something about Shadows Fall, at least at this point, that keeps them from truly excelling beyond being only a good band. “The Art Of Balance” is indeed another step in the right direction, and hopefully as time goes on Shadows Fall will be able to bring their music to a level that will serve them well.

Bottom Line: An excellent follow-up to “Of One Blood,” and a good album all around. “The Art Of Balance” is an album that any fans of any sub-genre of metal have the potential to enjoy.

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Musicianship: 7
Atmosphere: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8
Overall: 7

Rating: 7.2 out of 10