Knights Of The Abyss

Shades

Written by: PP on 15/08/2008 16:36:36

Another product of Ferret Music's recent round of band scouting, Knights Of The Abyss, seems at first to be your average generic deathcore band with some melodic metal influence. And to an extent, that statement holds even after several active listening sessions, but the close listener will begin to find similarities that foreshadow Knights Of The Abyss' path in the footsteps of mighty metalcore/melodic metal fusionist giants Darkest Hour and All That Remains.

"Shades", the band's sophomore album, namely possesses many qualities that Darkest Hour during "So Sedated, So Secure", before the band evolved and fine-tuned their sound and recorded one of the best albums of this decade, "Undoing Ruin". The record is full of blinding hooks and riffs, created to form an awesomely melodic guitar driven landscape that constantly keeps the listener intrigued on what's coming next. When it comes to riffs and hooks, the resemblances to Darkest Hour are undeniable, and during solos, the All That Remains reference creeps up to the listener. There are only some breakdowns in the music, which puts a big question mark on the deathcore tag the band has been associated with, although once vocalist Manheimer's shriek-screams kick in, it becomes little more obvious why the label is there.

The instruments vary from breakneck speed to medium paced, nonetheless melodic in both forms, but he delivers vocals at the same speed throughout the album, creating a monotonous effect that will certainly put a lot of people off. There are only few moments when he deviates, for instance the "CIRCLE PIT OF HELL" scream in "Whorror Storm" or the slowed down "rise of eeeevil father" in "A New Darkened Faith", and these are clearly the best moments in his vocal work, again drawing parallels to "So Sedated, So Secure", where John Henry was still learning his strengths as a vocalist. Likewise, Manheimer's vocals dwell between the indecipherable and understandable, sometimes sounding like a brutal mish-mash, sometimes making it easy for us to hear the good job he's done on the lyrics.

The thing to know about "Shades" is its promise of a greater tomorrow. Listening to these guys instrumentally easily makes one expect amazing things from them in the future, mostly due to the technical guitarists who have a good sense of melody, but also because Manheimer only requires one, maybe two years of improvement in his vocals and he'll get to the John Henry level. For now, "Shades" feels exactly like "So Sedated, So Secure" and "Behind Silence And Solitude" (All That Remains debut), where the band has improved from their debut (in the case of the former) but hasn't quite been able to fine-tune their sound to near-perfection yet (as for the latter). Regardless, this is a pretty good mix of deathcore and metalcore without the clean vocals bullshit, so definitely worth checking out.

7

Download: A New Darkened Faith, Running Out Of Earthly Wealth
For the fans of: Darkest Hour, All That Remains
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.06.2008
Ferret Music

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