REVIEW: SHADOWRISE – “Escape From Shadow Island” [EP]
Power metal is a genre one prefers when he/she wants to enter the world of fantasy without picking out any J.R.R Tolkien, J.K. Rowling or George R. R. Martin references. A fantastical world connects to us emotionally. It’s called fantasy for a reason, and that reason is your fantasy comes alive in books and in music. The beauty of power metal lies within its fantastical world. In fact, power metal is not just limited to fantasy –it has its branches spread out in every direction.
With bands like Children of Bodom incorporating a pinch of power metal in melodic death metal, it was about time someone did the opposite. Enter Shadowrise. Inspired by bands like Wintersun, Keep OfKalessin, Symphony X and more, the band comes from the Dutch land and is both The Dark Lord Sauron and soft-spoken Frodo Baggins in one. A grim reaper personality on the cover, amidst the grey and gloomy surroundings, flanked by mountains and a bright full moon with a set of royal stairs descending into the cloud –this itself defines what Shadowrise is. Shadowrise puts forth well-structured music concocted with symphonic power metal and melodic death metal and goes by the name ‘Escape from Shadow Island.’
The introductory track “Rise” does not take much time to turn into sinister death metal blast beats from leading into a symphony and this game is played back and forth. Roman Potasse‘s (guitar, vocals) growls are complemented beautifully by Laura Gauldemond’s vocals. “Django”, which is the first single released from the EP in the form of a lyric video, has its focus showing the best side of the band. Daniel Boomsma on his guitar solo is what stands out in the track, and the chorus of the song, sung in a duet of growls and clean vocals, shows the effort and hard-work that has gone into composing the album.
Quickly following “Django” and going back to more of light-and-darkness is “Monster”, and we are back to the blast beats with ominous music as the band again comes together, while Potasse’s growls take the front with Yordi Florax and his bass as the Shotgun’s seat. Lastly, the title track begins with a mini guitar solo from Daniel and Shadowrise introduces a minor taste of speed metal, but the overall epicness that was maintained in the previous tracks stays consistent. Joris Sevat on drums is the driving force of the music, and his playing style makes the album more interesting and no track sounds like the other; the listener doesn’t end up feeling he’s listening to the same song structure repeatedly. The production and mixing and mastering is impeccable and leaves no room to expect better from it because it’s top notch.
Shadowrise is the new big gun in town and competitor bands should definitely be afraid of them, and it’s a rare chance you get to listen to a debut EP that sounds professional. Look forward to it and be prepared for the epic power metal that comes with Shadowrise.