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Released: 2014, Metalism
I’ll admit I tend to review things a bit on the generous side. If I like it, I support it. Overall it’s very rare I give out perfect scores so it feels odd to give this album a perfect rating, especially, considering I already gave the Persuader a perfect score earlier this year, but this album is amazing.
This is the first time I have heard Shadow Host and I’m a bit embarrassed bout that, how could I have missed such an incredible band for so long? APOCALYPTIC SYMPHONY is this Russian’s bands fifth album. They have been around since 1997 and have released album on small or independent labels. Everything about this record is flawless. They have an awesome name. The cover art is gorgeous, the logo is good, the album title is cool, they are Metal to the core. The quintet was founded by Alex Arzamazov, and since the last album he has recruited a new vocalist, bassist and drummer. This combination seems to be pretty magical to my ears and I hope this line-up can stay stable, as the band has been plagued with constant line-up changes over the years.
Like Persuader, Shadow Host perform a perfect blend of Power and Thrash, which is so hard to do. Every single song is fast and powerful, the only song where they slow down a bit is ‘Seeds Of Sorrow’ which has a bit of acoustic guitar. No Synthesizers. No orchestras. No female singers. Just skull-crushing Metal. They remind of some bands that also try to cross the divide from Thrash and Power Metal, bands like old Metallica, Annihilator and Testament, where they have a bit more heaviness and melody than just a straight-up thrash band like Exodus. The vocals of Alex Markov are rough and raw but clear and he delivers the lyrics in a very intense fashion. The songs are catchy, the guitar tone is thick and the solos add that hints of melody that a pure thrash band at times lacks. The pace and intensity of APOCALYPTIC SYMPHONY is relentless, inducing 50 minutes of head-banging. The lyrics are dark and there are some gang vocals to add a bit of punch when it comes to the chorus, especially on killer cuts like ‘Silent Killing’.
The true test is that I have listened to this album more than any other new album this year. It took me a long time to finish this review because I didn’t want the review just to descend into gushing praise and flattery of the band. I tried to think of a funny or clever way to explain how awesome this band is and I could not. That is my failing as a writer, perhaps being blown away and struck speechless by APOCALYPTIC SYMPHONY.
1. Lunacy Divine
3. Blinded by Greed
4. Empty Eyes
5. Silent Killing
6. Guardians of the Wretched
7. Divide and Rule
8. Reborn in Hate
9. Seeds of Sorrow
10. Apocalypse Within
Alexey Markov Vocals
Alexey Arzamazov Guitars, Vocals
Yuriy Naletov Guitars
Artem Molodtsov Bass
Erland Sivolapov Drums
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