SHADOWSIDE – Shades Of Humanity

SHADOWSIDE - Shades Of Humanity
  • 8/10
    SHADOWSIDE - Shades Of Humanity - 8/10


EMP Label Group
Release date: July 28, 2017

User Review
9/10 (2 votes)

“I decide to not accept defeat”—laudable words that kick off the chorus of “Make My Fate”, the hard-hitting fourth cut from Shadowside’s new album Shades Of Humanity. The follow up track “Insidious Me” starts out with a scream of “I hate you”, in case anyone was worried that the album was going to wallow in inspiration and positivity—but stay with the first sentiment for a moment.

Shades is Shadowside’s fourth album-length effort, their first with ex-Hammerfall bassist Magnus Rosén, who along with drummer Fabio Buitvidas pounds down a consistently inventive rhythmic bedrock for guitarist Raphael Mattos to lay a compelling mix of intense riffs and incendiary solos over (check out his work at the end of “Drifter”—not a Maiden cover but fantastic nonetheless). Musically, there isn’t a weak track on Shades, but even the ones that are merely “good” are elevated into near-great and great status by the spectacular vocals of Dani Nolden, as exciting a vocalist working in Metal today. She displays great range on the album, handling diverse styles with equal proficiency, going low and growly for the grinding “Unreality”, soaring high to drive home the message in “Make My Fate” and “The Crossing”. As on opener “The Fall”, she often sounds like Graham Bonnet in his Alcatrazz or Rainbow days—a high compliment—but she can also do ethereal vocals such as at the start of album closer and video single “Alive”. She’s so versatile and varied on Shades—a one-woman choir–listeners might think the band has multiple vocalists.

Shades Of Humanity showcases a band who isn’t merely choosing to not accept defeat—they sound like a band reaching for victory and grabbing hold tight.



  • Daniel Waters

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind wasn’t the first Metal album he owned, but it was the one that lifted the lid off his soul when he received the record as a gift on his 15th birthday. He's been a Metal fan ever since. He's probably best known as the author of various Young Adult novels such as the Generation Dead series and the ghost story Break My Heart 1,000 Times, now also a major motion picture entitled I Still See You, starring Bella Thorne. Writing and music, especially Heavy Metal music, has always been inextricably linked in his mind and career. His first paid gig doing any type of writing was for Cemetery Dance, where he wrote a horror-themed music column called Dead Beats, and when he was writing the first Generation Dead novel he had a ritual where he started his writing day with a Metal playlist that kicked off with “Crushing Belial” by Shadows Fall.

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