Shadow - Shadow


Not blessed, or merciful
Apr 11, 2001
Sarf Lundin, Innit
Shadow - Shadow
Century Media - 2001
By Rodrigo

Given the immense success of melodic death metal bands in Japan, it was really only a matter of time when a band similar to In Flames and Dark Tranquillity would come from the land of the rising sun. That band is Shadow and their self-titled release is an impressive showcase of melodic death metal brutality and placed them as a band that must be reckoned with.

Shadow is an album that does not sound like a debut. It truly sounds like it was recorded by a veteran band and not at all like a newcomer. The guitar duo of Yuichi Sumimoto and Shinichiro Okada has come out not only with a wide array of excellent riffs, leads, melodies and solos and they play music that is accessible yet complex. Take for example the first song off Shadow "The Arrival at the Last Quarter". The intro is really impressive and just really grabs you. The melodic guitars are phenomenal and this song has some of my favorite guitar riffs. Like the solo that begins at 2:58 because it is really an awesome display of guitar wizardry. "Weep for the Sin" is another favorite of mine and of note is the section from 1:13 to 1:22 because it features really excellent background guitar melodies. "Eden" is a song that most reminds me of In Flames especially during the first minute during the intro. However, this is not a knock against Shadow instead I find it as an expression of their roots and adding their own unique twist. "Beyond the Drizzly Nights" is the longest song and also the most complex of the album making it a testament of the creativity and talent that Shadow have. Plus this song features what might be the best solos of the album.

Yet Shadow is just not the Yuichi and Shinichiro show because the rhythmic section of drummer Mitsuhiro Enomoto and bassist Yoshiro "Cain" Kubo (who started the band) provide the strong backbone that allows Yuichi and Shinichiro to go nuts with the guitars. Mitsuhiro does an excellent job drumming and he plays with passion and confidence and Yoshiro manages to glue it all together. Yet all this talent is incomplete without Shadow’s tremendous female singer Tokiko Shimamoto. Yes! That is right, that aggressive and brutal voice actually comes from a female and she is just simply amazing. Just listen to her singing the chorus section of "Lunar Eclipse"; that is one woman you seriously do not want to mess with. She sounds more aggressive than some of the male singers of similar bands.

Shadow is one band to watch out for. This album just might be the best debut of the year (so far). Shadow has taken all the best qualities of the Swedish melodic death metal bands and made an album that is obviously inspired by those bands but also one that adds some new and fresh ideas. This is great stuff!