Shadows of Paragon – “Amendment”


Sometimes bands take a long time in releasing a sophomore album and the Christian black/unblack metal band Shadows of Paragon have pushed that idea perhaps to its fullest, releasing their second album, Amendment, around 12 years after their debut.

For those like me who didn’t know the history of Shadows of Paragon, the Swedish band actually started in 2001 under the name Allsherjar, eventually changing their name and releasing a demo in 2004, which is still a long ways from 2021. An ep followed in 2008 after some lineup changes and then a full length, Through the Valley Within in 2009. Now a full 12 years after their debut album, Amendment is released.

From the opening riff of Amendment, Shadows of Paragon make it abundantly clear that this is a black metal album. As is always the case, some may prefer the term “unblack” over black based on the Christian content of the lyrics and viewpoint, but to me the “black” metal is more descriptive of overall sound and feel, so that’s what I use. “Amendment of the Heart” opens up with a characteristic black metal sounding droning riff, blast beats, and in this case, the deeper, raspy, growled vocals that one often hears in the genre. The guitars and drums drive the song along with little variation through most of it, but there is enough variation to keep things interesting in terms of rhythms and drum patterns. Overall production is good for the genre even if the vocals are a bit distant in the mix. Toward the end of the track the band changes things up a bit and brings in some slower, chugging guitars before returning to the style in the rest of the song.

As often happens, songs on black metal albums often end up sounding very similar and “The Shadow” sounds as if the track before it never really ended with the blast beats and droning guitars continuing much the same. This general comment is my only issue with the album, but the band does address this at various points in the album, trying to change things up a bit. In contrast to “The Shadow”, “Your New Identity” completely changes things up in terms of overall sound in the beginning before settling into a more predictable black metal riff accompanied by blast beats. I do appreciate the guitar throughout the song though as it’s much clearer in tone and less droning than is standard in black metal, providing a great sonic backdrop for the vocals and the rest of the band.

“Mindblowing” continues to change things up, with its soft piano opening that eventually gives way to the metal, which in this case seems more plodding and deliberate in terms of song structure than the previous tracks. David Rönland’s vocals, Linus Bergman’s guitars, and Arvid Berg’s drumming work extremely well together on this track and the more melodic parts allow Zharlie Sambeko’s bass to play a stronger role in the overall sound of the track.

“The Oathkeeper” has a particularly powerful opening with a slower guitar riff punctuated by the drums and bass in a pounding call and response like progression that reappears in various forms throughout the track. “Silence the Cynic” almost brings in, dare I say, a bit of a groove feel in parts, that again bring out the best in the rhythm section of Arvid Berg and Zharlie Sambeko who drive the track along.

Things progress along pretty much as expected until the last track “Faith in Being Forever Saved” which opens again with a lone piano. Some raspy whispered vocals of a desperate sounding voice come in and then the track goes full black metal in terms of vocals, guitars, and drums before quietly finishing out with the same piano and whispered vocals that started the track, and the transition between the two really works.

I’m sure fans of Shadows of Paragon have been waiting anxiously for this release or have forgotten about the band given the time between the first and second album, but either way, should they be looking for some quality black/unblack metal from Scandinavia, Amendment will fill that need.

Rating: 7.5/10

Written by John Jackson


  1. Amendment of the Heart
  2. The Shadow
  3. Your New Identity
  4. Mindblowing
  5. The Oathkeeper
  6. Behind the Torn Veil
  7. Silence the Cynic
  8. Not by Domination
  9. Outnumbered the Dark
  10. Faith in Being Forever Save

Release Date: March 19th. 2021

Record Label: Independent

Band Members
David Rönland – Vocals
Linus Bergman – Guitars and ingressive vocals
Zharlie Sambeko – Bass Guitar
Fredrik Bergman – Keyboards
Arvid Berg – Drums

Social Media: Website / Facebook / Bandcamp

Lyric video for ‘Your New Identity’

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