Shadowside is arguably one of the hardest working bands coming from Brazil. They have been around since 2001 releasing a six song demo and building a strong fan base. Things quickly changed for the band after their full length debut was released in 2005. They have since toured in both the United States and Europe supporting such big name acts as Helloween, W.A.S.P., and Iron Maiden. Now with their third full length album titled Inner Monster Out, they continue to grow as a contending international act.
The musical style displayed on Inner Monster Out is predominantly on the heavier side of Power Metal. It’s almost borderline Thrash on some tracks. From the very beginning the most distinct element is the extremely deep and domineering guitar riffs. The first couple of tracks are slightly melodic in nature, with a favorable riff to carry the melody. However, as the album progresses the guitars become increasingly overbearing. There is less melody and an inevitable drowning out of the vocals. The riffs also begin to sound repetitive from track to track as there is not much diversity within the compositions.
In addition to the exaggerated guitars, the vocal presentation is not entirely up to par either. The female lead vocal talents of Dani Nolden are very bold and courageous, but there is also a lack of diversity offered. She sings many of the tracks in a gritty sounding, higher vocal register and exudes a sense that she is pushing too hard. The vocals come off as sounding unnatural and somewhat contrived. This is unfortunate because there are a few tracks where Nolden’s vocals are actually done quite well, most notably during the track “Angel With Horns” in which she presents a very sincere and emotional effort.
There is not really one track that stands out as outstanding on this album. There are some fairly good compositions like the aforementioned “Angel With Horns” as well as “Whatever Our Fortune” and “A.D.D.” Most of the other songs have such similar sounding riffs and are performed in a similar key and time. With the lack of melody, it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate the tracks. There is also a cover of Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades” which is really an insult to Motorhead and has no place on this album.
Overall, this is quite a disappointing performance from a band with such a grand resume. They definitely need some improvements in songwriting and production. The drowning guitar riffs and abrasive vocals really make this a tough listen. When taken in individual doses, the songs stand up fine, but the entire album as a whole is just messy and disorganized.
Official Shadowside Webiste
Inner Wound Recordings