The band tells an epic tale through music, with horns and extra percussion adding touches of bombast in the right places. The “right places” are where the song starts to get just a little bit boring; the horns and percussion tend to liven things up where they are used, such as on “The Gift” and “The Revenge of Namwell”. Unfortunately, I felt that some of the songs, even those of around six minutes, seemed too long. While long song lengths may be needed to fully develop a piece, bands in general need to think very carefully about how a particular section will add value to the album as a whole.
That being said, guitarists Cyril and Fabien produce some well-crafted melodies and solos throughout – opener “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” has an achingly beautiful classical guitar part, and “Nightly Visions” contains a heartfelt harmonised solo. There were times when I found myself swept away by the music and story, such as during the middle section of “The Gift”, and during “The Revenge of Namwell”. The latter sees a particularly strong performance of guttural vocals from Alex. Nico provides a solid foundation throughout with his drumming.
LORD SHADES has clearly put a good amount of effort into carrying their mythos forward. It was a fun ride for the most part, and I think that their brand of epic black/death metal will soar to new heights with a little tweaking in the songwriting department.
Production: 7 Lauren Fonto