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Pretty cool, very epic - 68%

Muloc7253, May 19th, 2008

'Into the Primordial' by US power metallers Burning Shadows has a very broad but nevertheless very specific target audience, and if you're a fan of bands like Iced Earth and Hammerfall then this album was definately made for the likes of you. Burning Shadows play a mix of US and Euro power metal (leaning much more towards the US variety though) with a little bit of traditional heavy metal (mainly in the verses) and do so capably enough, with their own set of good riffs and fun hooks, and heavy doses of epicness. They're far from perfect though.

I think the album might be a bit too epic. At least for me, anyway, some of the songs stretch on way too long considering their amount of riffs and differing sections, which isn't enough for nine minute songs. I guess you could call it the 'And Justice for All' syndrome. The riffs themselves are good, and there are some really great epic sections, like the excellent beginning build-up and ultimate climax of 'Wings Over Asgard', but songs like 'Second Son' and 'Into the Primordial', whilst all well and good for what they are just don't pack enough interesting ideas in for me to enjoy them for so long. Maybe I'm just impatient, I'm sure there are people who this will only better the experience for.

Another criticism I feel I should make is that the band need another vocalist. And notice that I don't say a new vocalist, but another additional one, because Greg Jones, whilst being good at the more traditional heavy metal based verse stuff is very well done, he isn't so great at the more epic parts, well written as they are (his backing buddies don't seem to pull it off so well either). I think the verses remind me of storytelling, which is done well enough, but the choruses, which let out all the epicness in their climax end up being quite anticlimatic due to what sounds like a lack of both range and enthusiasm. Apart from that though, the music is very competently played, the lead guitar is excellent and the drums are definately a standout.

Overall this turns out to be a pretty good power metal album, but every 'pretty good' album has it's downsides. Recommended to power metal fans, of course, but also to fans of traditional metal too.