Review by Tobias on August 14, 2001.
Before the first song was over, I popped my head up and over my cubicle wall to give my cohort Zgred a shit-eater of a grin. Shadow is a strong force behind the ascending tide of badass Japanese metal.
Shadow has put together fierce and melodic guitars with a death voice that won’t quit. Imagine my surprise when I found out that it was a woman, the mesmerizing and attractive Tokiko Shimamoto, who was on the vocal shred attack. I’m getting her face tattooed on my ass.
Shadow’s debut is strong and melodic and rides a fine line of brutality. The impressive twin onslaught of six-stringers by Yuichi Sumimoto and Shinichiro Okada teamed with the bass and skin thunderstorm by the man who started it all Yoshio "Cain" Kubo and stickman Mitsuhiro Enomoto produces a mean metal that smacks on the melodic sensibility displayed in the Eighties. This fabulously blended style is so well demonstrated across the entire album that it becomes very difficult to pick out prime examples, but for now we can go with the intensely diverse 'Breath of Awakening', showing the strong influence of Iron Maiden’s guitar authorship, or the powerdrive of 'Lunar Eclipse'.
While this is an absolutely outstanding entry into the world of great metal, in a few places it does sound like a first entry. And as well it should, because this is one debut that you will not want to miss and the flaws will only make you look forward to the next release and watching their growth.
Watch out Sweden.
Bottom Line: Intense, fun and strong metal coursing the same vein of the melodic death leaders such as In Flames really makes this a must have.
Rating: 9 of 10