Released: 2010, Inner Wound
The stereotype of French Metal being of inferior quality has been around for years. Slowly but surely that perception is changing and bands like Shadyon are helping demonstrate to metal fans around the world, that a band from France can be world-class.
MIND CONTROL is the sophomore effort for these guys and sees them on the newer label Inner Wound, which is signing some really good bands these days. Shaydon are a really elegant blend of Progressive tendencies, Pomp Rock, and Melodic Metal. It is hard to bring all these sounds together but the band does a great job by integrating the sounds quite seamlessly. They switch and mix all those styles very well.
Opening with a quite beautiful orchestral intro, the band starts to take off but then pulls a bit of an unexpected move. Instead of offering a predictable simpler, straight-ahead rocker the song, “New Dimension’ quickly switches gears and slows down into this uber-melodic Pomp/AOR piece. In case that sounds a bit too weak for you, the guitars are all over the place and there are song nice guitar/ keyboard interplays. The song gets a touch heavier at the end of the cut, with the guitars beefing up the sound. It’s a really well-constructed song that kept me engaged and interested, not predictable by any means.
The performances on MIND CONTROL are really good, the progressive elements show that these guys can play, without forgetting to retain a sense of the ‘song’, and not just put on a clinic. The second song is a bit more straight-forward faster, more to the point and an opportunity for vocalist Emmanuel Cries, to stretch out a bit. I don’t know why but I hear shades of Styx when they were at their heaviest, perhaps around the time of PARADISE THEATER. The solos are great, not too flashy and note-dense but urgent, driving and flowing.
MIND CONTROL is a pretty mature and sophisticated record for a young band. I’m sure they are influenced by the prog greats like Dream Theater, but resist the urge to over-play. Don’t get me wrong, I love over-the-top, insane, prog-shred/tech-death stuff as well, but Shadyon choose to demonstrate a bit of restraint and I think that serves the band well in the end because it makes it more listenable. Songs like ‘Into The Fire’ bring the heavy and some head-bangability to the show mixed with a simple and effective chorus.
MIND CONTROL has a really great blend of many elements; heaviness, chops, melody, all with an immaculate production. Lyrically, the album explores some metaphysical themes, not just songs about cars and girls, which adds to the degree of sophistication. The ten cuts clock in at about an hour with some longer pieces that hold your attention quite easily. Shadyon have the potential to really break out and make an impact in a demanding sub-genre.