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Shadowside - "Inner Monster Out" (CD)

Shadowside - "Inner Monster Out" CD cover image

"Inner Monster Out" track listing:

1. Gag Order (4:37)
2. Angel With Horns (4:41)
3. Habitchual (3:32)
4. In the Name of Love (3:49)
5. Inner Monster Out (feat. Björn "Speed" Strid, Mikael Stanne, Niklas Isfeldt) (3:48)
6. I'm Your Mind (3:25)
7. My Disrupted Reality (4:14)
8. A Smile Upon Death (3:22)
9. Whatever Our Fortune (3:02)
10. A.D.D. (4:12)
11. Waste of Life (3:41)

Reviewed by on September 6, 2011

"The band has donned the spikes, suited up the leather and let the 'Inner Monster Out' with a fresh aggression, marking Shadowside’s place in shaky ground of modern power metal."

Stand out or be forgotten. There comes a point in the career of every band where its faced with that proverbial "shit or get off the pot" moment. The third effort from this Brazilian power metal quartet presents that crossroad and Shadowside responds with a crushing blow. Unlike previous releases, there are no intros, no great aggrandizement, and no prattle. The band all but buries the flashy keyboards on previous release "Dare to Dream." Every track roars forth from square one hitting the listener like a ten ton ballast. The chunky grinding guitar riffs of Fabio Buitvidas shanghais the listener and throttles with a metal-beatdown. Yet all the while, Shawdowside maintains the band’s usual high level of melody.

The appropriately named "Gag Order" charges right out of the gate silencing any apprehension. With its burly riffs, the track is a power metal crusher with a Sister Sin feel to it. The LP's first single "Angel With Horns" follows as a refreshingly up-tempo song with catchy hooks and a nice gallop on the refrain.

Vocalist Dani Nolden ratchets up her intensity to a Veronica Freeman-like (Benedictum) proportion. The album's finisher "Waste of Life" is the perfect example of Nolden's more aggressive and energetic pipes. Lest anyone think Holden is incapable of mixing well with the likes of guest vocalists Björn "Speed" Strid (Soilwork), Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquility), and Niklas Isfeldt (Dream Evil), the title track will prove them wrong. She not only melds perfectly in this tasteful amalgamation, she transcends it.

The band doesn't tread water in the mid-pace theme for the length of the release, save for the album's only filler song "Whatever Our Fortune." Buitvidas provides symmetry with more rapid-fire playing on "Habitchual,""I'm Your Mind," and the album's strongest track "My Disupted Reality." His luxuriously ear piercing solo on the latter is the pinnacle of the release.

Shadowside has finally come into its own, avoiding the stigma of mediocrity. The band has donned the spikes, suited up the leather and let the "Inner Monster Out" with a fresh aggression, marking Shadowside’s place in shaky ground of modern power metal.

Highs: The higher level of aggression, especially with vocalist Dani Nolden.

Lows: "Whatever Our Fortune" is a filler track.

Bottom line: Shadowside serves up two slices of steel and a pound of aggression.

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)