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The Unguided - Father Shadow Award winner

The Unguided
Father Shadow
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 03 December 2020, 7:04 AM

Today, it’s easy to see Metalheads running away from what is different, from those bands that demands time to be understood under certain conservative musical points of view. As a 50 years old Metalhead that inherited the views of my generation, I personally love to deal with the new, with the unknown (please, allow me to write on a personal form now). And to hear a work as “Father Shadow” from the Swedish quartet THE UNGUIDED is really a great and striking surprise.

The band fuses the old and good ways from Epic/Power Metal with modern Groove Metal and Metalcore elements on some songs, creating a musical hybrid form. It’s not easy to describe how they work in such way, but they do it, and do it in great shape, contrasting modern and aggressive parts with charming melodies (with the epic feeling coming from some keyboards’ melodies). It’s truly unusual, very good and new, but could be used on all their tracks. Robert Kukla (producer, sound engineer, and who worked on recording) and Buster Odeholm (producer, sound engineer, and the one who did the mixing and mastering) are the sculptors of the sonority of “Father Shadow”, creating a sound quality that is ferocious and heavy, but clean and modern. And it allows the band to be fully understood.

All the songs are very good, and have an appeal that will conquer the younger Metal fans (and cause disgust on those who label themselves as old). But for a first time on their work, the abrasive tempos tempered with symphonic keyboards shown on “Childhood’s End”, the young energy and aggressiveness of “Never Yield” and “War of Oceans” (those contrasts of aggressive parts with melodic moments is amazing), the deeper and accessible “Where Love Comes to Die”, the brutal melodic modern grasp of “Crown Prince Syndrome” and “Fate’s Hand”, and the melodic Groove temper of “Seth” are the best ones. But the band brings three songs of SONIC SYNDICATE (former band of the vocalist Richard Sjunnesson) on personal versions: “Jailbreak”, “Denied” and “Jack of Diamonds”.

THE UNGUIDED is really a great surprise, and “Father Shadow” shows a band that has potential to go even further on Epic/Symphonic Metal elements in the future (because there are some songs that are merely Metalcore songs).

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Childhood’s End
2. Never Yield
3. War of Oceans
4. Breach
5. Where Love Comes to Die
6. Crown Prince Syndrome
7. Fate’s Hand
8. Stand Alone Complex
9. Lance of Longinus
10. Seth
11. Gaia
12. Jailbreak (Sonic Syndicate cover)
13. Denied (Sonic Syndicate cover)
14. Jack of Diamonds (Sonic Syndicate cover)
Lineup:
Richard Sjunnesson - Vocals
Jonathan Thorpenberg - Guitars, Vocals
Roger Sjunnesson - Guitars, Keyboards
Henric Liljesand - Bass (session)
Richard Schill - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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