Shadows Past – Perfect Chapter


perfectchapterSome bands take a long time to release a debut cd, and Shadows Past have taken this to heart.  Initially formed in 2005 by singer Ola Halén and guitarist Jonatan Berg, this Swedish band is now releasing their debut full-length album.  Several demo recordings were made in the band’s early years with the first official one released in 2009, containing the songs “Perfect Chapter”, “Cry No More”, and “Who am I”, which have been rerecorded for this full length release.  Since their beginning, Shadows Past have played extensively in the Stockholm club scene and participated in a pan-European music contest in 2009.  During 2009, new songs were written and process of recording the debut album began in 2010.  In late 2011, the album recording was done and the band sent the materials to Erik Mårtensson ( Eclipse, Seventh Wonder) for mixing and mastering, with the final product ready in spring of 2012.  Christian Liljegren and the Dolittle Group heard the album in later 2012 and signed the band to their label.

Perfect Chapter opens up at full speed and loud, no build up necessary.  Not being familiar with the band I was expecting symphonic black metal after the opening with its deep growling vocals and orchestral backdrop, but then the song and style of Shadows Past became apparent – this is melodic power metal.  The one thing that strikes me with listening to this is that their older songs, “Perfect Chapter”, “Cry No More”, and “Who am I” are the strongest songs on the album.  In thinking about it, this isn’t too surprising since they are the ones the band has spent the most time working on over the years.

The guitar work by Jonatan Berg is very impressive throughout the album but one can get the impression that the songs are merely a vehicle for him to provide some incredible guitar solos.  In this respect, and somewhat in terms of vocal style an song structure, Shadows Past reminds me of Dragonforce.  Somewhat surprisingly, the production and mixing seem to have the vocals a bit too loud and the rest of the instruments somewhat subdued, which is usually not the case when the guitar work is such a strong point in the songs.  The album closes with the ballad “Believe”, which seems a bit out of place with the rest of the songs on the album.

Overall, this is a very solid debut.  To me, this is one of those albums that just doesn’t stand out and it is difficult to explain why.  The musicianship is very solid and the guitar work is excellent, vocals are strong and fit within the genre well, but the album fails to hold my interest.

Rating: 6/10

1 Wherever I Go [04:20]
2 Perfect Chapter [04:18]
3 Cry No More [05:26]
4 An Old Enemy [04:42]
5 Ladder Of Life [04:34]
6 The Scars Run Deep [04:10
7 Impressed [04:07]
8 Who Am I [05:12]
9 The One [05:51]
10 Believe[ 06:12]

Band members:
Ola Halén – Vocals
Jonatan Berg – Guitar
Patrik Berg – Bass
Staffan Lindroth – Keyboard
Olle Lindroth – Drums

Blown Away, demo [2006]
Perfect Chapter, demo [2009]
Perfect Chapter [2013]

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Record Label: Doolittle Group, March 2013

Buy the album here:
 First Paradox 
 Nordic Mission

Video below: Wherever I Go

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