It's always to come across new power metal gems whilst reluctantly weeding through heaps of death metal groups, and one of my latest findings is the Maryland heavy/power quartet Burning Shadows, and their sophomore ''Gather, Darkness!''. To be sure, many who first encountered the group might have actually tossed them far off due to multiple reasons: fear of a generic output, dissatisfaction from the debut records, or simply the fact that the band is not tied together with a label might put off the more spoiled of listeners, yet I, from the very start had a burning desire to contemplate the semi-shadowy aesthetics of this war-arousing bulk of a record. There are many reasons why one might have been drawn to this album while still under the encapsulating tenor of agitation, but I'll only be focusing on the content now; so fear not, we have some damnably solid material here.
Musically, the riffs proceed with simple progressions during verse sequences and there's always a strong war-ensemble worship going on; traits that have been obviously snatched from European power metal legends, Manowar, Hammerfall, Blind Guardian, Helloween and lesser dose of US power metal influences, like Griffin, Fates Warning and Jag Panzer, and the band's biggest talent aesthetically is forming thick layers of multi-riff bombardments and adjoining with those of of a more atmospheric, epic tangent, tightly composed structures balancing the who place. Simplistic melodies are used often enough, adorned with a pummeling percussive rhythm system to keep the swing at full momentum, and furthermore, compositions are near-drowning because the album is basically divided three burdened tracks ranging at over ten minutes each, separated into briefer segments, so there's always the risk of the instrumental parts immersing you into boredom, but surprisingly, culminating with a blast of fresh, dark aura, sturdy performance and solid riffs, banality is hardly the case.
Tom Davy has an incredibly accessible and clear vocal performance the whole way through. His voice supports clarity and no matter how the guitars shift from thrashy plummets to atmospheric, mood-laden melody explosions, his tone implies a certain strictness, very neutral, and thanks to him the band is never driven into a cadaverous stupor, or suffers from the entry of any sort of derision. In spite of the general lack of power metal surreal overdose, Burning Shadows still has a handful of tricks; on ''Man From Myth'', for instance, you have a very epic rupture of darkness pervaded by the lyrics and a very catchy range of riffs to support it, and upon further inspection, you'll find yourself deeply immersed in a saturating, straightforward black metal dispersion, which, when enforced by the dazzling enigma of wah-wah pedal, sounds absolutely captivating.
There are still tons of bands in today's scene which deserve attention, and this four-piece is on of them. Whether you had frivolous fun on the debut or not, if you're into carnal thrash excavations and the beautiful clash of melody against ambiguity, you need to grab a banner from the local medieval items stores, rally your bannerman and lead the battle against whatever evil dwells in your neighborhood, ''Gather, Darkness!'' blasting out of the steroids behind you. Colorful and solemn.
Night, with the darkness falling
Hand of Sathanas reigning down
Upon this coven
Bred in secrecy
To the wrath of God we pledge
Suffering and agony
Blessed by the will to end this tyranny
To Ruin & Divide: Kingdoms Fall
To Ruin & Divide: Man From Myth
A Thousand Lies: A New Dark Age
Braking The Sanctuary: The Infamous Down