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Released: 2003, Independent
Back for another kick at the can is Wisconsin’s own Dark Shift. It was only a year ago that I reviewed the bands debut demo and here they are with a full-length release and was quite happy that there were still bands who were interested enough in traditional metal to take the plunge and release a demo. The lineup of Lewie Snyder (vocals and guitar), Joel Wanasek (lead guitar), Brett Dumstrey (bass) and Tommy ‘the gunner’ Lodwick (drums) has stayed intact from the demo and that can mean only good things for THE ASSAULT.
Opening with “By The Waters” Dark Shift show that they still have the intensity and the love of traditional metal that was showcased on their demo. “Beyond the Dark” is an excellent track is a mid tempo headbanger that just grabs a groove and never wants to let it go. Wanasek screams up and down the fret board with a tribute to his influences like Joe Stump and Chris Impellitteri. The centerpiece of THE ASSAULT is the three-part epic “Forever Night”. “Part I: Last Sunrise” is a melancholy piece of work that leads into “Part II: Into the Shadows” and finishes with “Part III: Forever Night”. Every facet of the band can be found in these 3 songs: aggressiveness, musicianship and their willingness to go from one extreme to the next, the gentlest guitar bridge to the heaviest thrash influenced run. The CD is closed out with the power metal influenced track “Lost Forever”.
Having gotten this CD recently I was very interested to see what kind of progress the band had made in the year between releases. They are as tight as ever and still hold the traditional metal gauntlet high. Wanasek is an exceptional guitarist and I am sure we will be hearing more form him in the future. The point where I think the band falls down is the vocals. When reviewing the demo I commented on Snyder’s vocals and how a couple of screams thrown in here and there would have made a difference, this time out I think that a vocalist with a wider rang would have added a totally new dimension to the songs. Snyder is good but I think the material calls for the vocals to be stepped up a notch. All in all this is a great release and I look forward to hearing more from this great new band.
1) By The Waters
3) Beyond the Dark
4) The Last Door
5) Fit of Rage
6) Forever Night (part I)
7) Forever Night (part II)
8) Forever Night (part III)
10) Lost Forever
Lewie Snyder (vocals and guitar)
Joel Wanasek (lead guitar)
Brett Dumstrey (bass)
Tommy ‘the gunner’ Lodwick (drums)
Previous review: » Dark Shift - Demo