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Age Of Fire - Shades Of Shadow

Age Of Fire
Shades Of Shadow
by Quinten Serna at 03 April 2020, 8:49 AM

Enter into the well of shaded virtues and discover a wealth of hidden potential, a musical Armageddon which paints its vivid scenes is choruses of screeching Metal and harmonies of defiant drums where then you shall find the culprits of the immaculate cacophony: AGE OF FIRE. After 3 decades since its initial corporeal inception, the band returns in leaps of diligence now releasing their third full length album entitled, “Shades Of Shadows", released just one year after their previous LP.

A great and focused way to start off the album, the LP begins with the instrumental, “Epitaph” a synth laded track coupled with swelling brass which reminds me of the original opening theme to Final Fantasy; at about the halfway mark all but the bass fades away allowing for the guitar to come in and repurpose the melody after a blistering solo. The first full performance song of the album, “Time Is Running Out” has a classic and Thrash kind punch to it, focusing on the beat’s accentuation of the rhythm whereupon the voice weaves in and out of the repeating melody. “King Of Aquilonia” is an encomium to Conan the Barbarian, telling a good deal of his story through the use of kennings, metaphors, and fantastical embellishments. “High Speed Chase” has some pretty well written leads that swap back and forth between both channels, the bass is heavy and assertive, and the drums are constant, the guitar rhythm however has a weird effect on it, like a fuzz combined with a chorus it seems to fade into the background and just become noise.

The band’s sound is interesting to name it in a single description, a wide array of influence produces an abstract sound. The guitars have a powerful sound to them, and are the forward most sound, yet never actually drown out any other instrument; the bass is remarkably solid and easily discernible within every track both providing a strong foundation and a greatly fitting dynamic; the body of the drums works well with the balance of each instrument, but the cymbals feel greatly out of place, too loud in some spots too quiet in others and somehow having themselves the sound of a wash not dissimilar to the surf pounding against a shore rather than a clear and crisp brass ring.

With a band that has a sound which can be likened to SONIC YOUTH for one track and then RAINBOW for the next, it is of an absurd difficulty to hold a particular opinion over the band as a whole, with the deafening and shattering soundscape of “Judgement Day” forcing itself upon the listener the band bears its teeth and makes it known in declaration that it has no fear, yet the very next track, “Fairystones” jumps in and out of that previously defined intensity by sharing its construction with synth and hesitation. “Shades Of Shadow” is an interesting piece with great strengths in tone and talent, but lacks a central theme and dynamic to support a call to arms and while long time listeners will find favor in the fidelity of track and composition, passers-by be hesitant due to the alarming variety of material on the album.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Epitaph
2. Time Is Running Out
3. Judgement Day
4. Fairystones
5. Shades Of Shadow
6. King Of Aquilonia
7. High Speed Chase
8. Dual Phase Of A Moon
9. Crystal Moon
10. Mist At Dawn
Michael Heck - Bass, Drums
Greg Brown - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Laura Viglione - Vocals
Record Label: Sliptrick Records


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