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NightShade - Predilections

by Craig “Thrashing” Rider at 13 October 2016, 4:59 PM

Metal maniacs, rejoice! The Thrasher returns to present to you: NIGHTSHADE; signed via Marked Man Records, hailing from France – performing Metalcore/Deathcore, on their 4th album entitled “Predilections”.

Since formation in 2005; NIGHTSHADE have behind them 3 records… “The Beginning Of Eradication” (released in 2008), “Lost In Motion” (released in 2011), and “An Endless Vision” (released in 2013). Ah, the “Core” sub-genre beckons to haunt me yet again. While I personally have had trouble in the past getting into the “harder”(?) side of Metal; isn't it all Metal meant to be hard-hitting(?), there has been a debatable argument in my stem that struggles to appreciate the genres at all. Hear me out; I have listened to this here record: “Predilections” an abundance amount of times and I appreciate the delivery, instrumentation sounds brutally stunning…however, certain implementations have unfortunately diminished that opinion, which truly disappoints one. For example; electronica “DJent” effects that sound like they came from a computing session, which at first hand put a massive frown on my face.

Let's start off with the quintet in question; Trevor Birnie on vocals for sure has diversity, multiplying diverse screams, growls…even Black Metal shrieks here and there; while all sounds unprecedented, this multitude of magnitudes in sub-genre combinations is not entirely necessary. This is where my problem comes in with “Core” as a whole. Nonetheless, we still have the guitarists: Bastien Deleule, Alex Katorkas & Erik Johnson; all execute “Predilections” with complexing dexterity, throughout the album has a healthy dose of classical, electronic and technical inspirations that flourish with the culmination of Metalcore & Deathcore balances. It's probably safe to say that maybe all these dynamics are a bit too much? Well, the entirety of the record certainly was overwhelming on that front, and while the album sounded fine for the most part…the overall execution just sounded awful to me if I was brutally honest.

10 songs ranging at around 29:03 exactly; “Sentient”, “Uchronia” & “Before We Die” open up “Predilections” with that classical influence…capturing immediate attention to detail with a haunting yet heavy introduction; orchestral elements feature poly-rhythmic chug patterns. NIGHTSHADE are not afraid to delve into the never-regions of Metalcore with songs like “Enclave”, “Reminise/Solace” (featuring Kiarely Castillo) & “My Orchid” create a unique mix of elements of these sub-genres aforementioned - where for songs like “For Those Who Fight” ambitiously incorporates the EDM implementation, in which didn't get a positive reaction from me, I'm afraid. Closing the record with “Midas” (featuring Vincent Le Goff & Jraaah), “What Dreams May Come” & “Sons Of Liberty”; I am compelled to say that while using every sub-genre into one band is unparalleled & distinctive…it just didn't entirely agree with me.

NIGHTSHADE's “Predilections” is an album that holds its own; shining through in its diversity. Though it felt clear to me that they were just spiraling out of control in their eclectic approach to deliver well; a bit of a mess while trying to uniquely progress their musicianship.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 7
Sound Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Sentient
2. Uchronia
3. Before We Die
4. Enclave
5. Reminisce/Solace (feat. Kiarely Castillo & Conquer Divide)
6. My Orchid
7. For Those Who Fight
8. Midas (feat. Vincent Le Goff & Jraaah)
9. What Dreams May Come
10. Sons Of Liberty
Vincent Vidal - Drums
Erik Johnson - Guitars
Alex Katorkas - Guitars
Bastien Deleule - Guitars
Trevor Birnie - Vocals
Record Label: Marked Man Records


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Edited 28 May 2023

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