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The Shiver - "A New Horizon" (CD)

The Shiver - "A New Horizon" CD cover image

"A New Horizon" track listing:

1. In Obscurity
2. Crushing Down
3. Empty People Empty Words
4. The Fragile Sound
5. Nothing Left To Waste
6. Through This Cold Winter
7. Leech And Flower
8. Answers
9. Feel Tomorrow's Light
10. Desire
11. No Longer Here
12. Bring Me To The Horizon

Reviewed by on July 1, 2010

"If you're looking for a mix of melody and ass-kicking riffs, as well as one of the best female voices in metal, set your compass for the Shiver's 'A New Horizon.'"

With their excellent "A New Horizon," the Shiver will give you goosebumps. It's fine female-fronted alt-metal that has an edge that pushes it beyond the Evanescence imitators that have sprung up lately.

Not to belabor the comparison to Evanescence too much, but let's just say that if you like Amy Lee's voice, you'll find much to love in Shiver singer/composer Faith's powerful vocals. She's joined by Francesco Finch Russo on drums, while producer Alessandro Paolucci plays bass and Stefano Tocci plays the guitar parts. There are also numerous keyboards, orchestral sounds and electronic elements, which actually complement songs like "The Fragile Sound" rather than competing too much with the other conventional "metal" instruments.

The best thing about the album is its sense of restraint. Yes, Faith can let loose with a soaring vocal line in the choruses, but equal effort and emphasis is given to the verses on songs like "Nothing Left To Waste," an aggressive number in which Faith lets loose with a couple death metal shrieks.

Yes, you'll find balladry here, such as the quiet "Through This Cold Winter," and once again, pleasant restraint is the order of the day. Complemented mostly by quiet keyboards and guitars, Faith's vocals are delivered, at times, in a near-whisper, until she cuts loose at the end.

And, lest you think it's going to be all-symphonic-all-the-time, I'll point you to "Answers," with its speedy, aggressive riff, screaming background vocals and powerful drum line. Sure, you'll also find a melodic piano floating around, but that adds a pleasant contrast.

On the down side, there are a few times when the album gets repetitive in the sense of songs starting light and then getting heavy. "Answers" and "The Fragile Sound" both begin with gentle piano before revving up considerably. Still, that's a pretty minor quibble.

This is an excellent album, offering a variety of sounds. If you're looking for a mix of melody and ass-kicking riffs, as well as one of the best female voices in metal, set your compass for the Shiver's "A New Horizon."

Highs: "The Fragile Sound," "Answers" and "Through This Cold Winter."

Lows: A very occasional over-reliance on the start-gentle-get-aggressive formula.

Bottom line: An excellent alt-metal disc, offering up a mix of the gentle and the savage.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)