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Shades of Sorrow
Dropping the Dead Weight
August 2011
Released: 2011, Self Released
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

Shades of Sorrow is an upstart 4-piece from New Brunswick, currently promoting their debut full length, DROPPING THE DEAD WEIGHT. Blending elements of modern hard rock/metal with more traditional headbanging flavors, the album is a catchy first effort from a band that appears to have plenty of promise.

For the most part, DROPPING THE DEAD WEIGHT is a steady collection of groove heavy tunes, that while heavier than most contemporary rock radio fare, wouldn’t necessarily sound out of place alongside more mainstream acts like Disturbed or Drowning Pool. The first five tracks of the album are consistently solid and make the album a worthwhile investment. A procession of mid-paced crunchy tunes with lots of hooks and memorable choruses, I can honestly say that I was singing various parts of each of these tunes after only a couple of listens. “Ray of Light” and “The Chosen” are the standout cuts on the album, with their sulking rhythms and powerful vocals.

The band starts to lose its way a bit around “On the Edge.” It’s a generic in your face tough guy rant that sounds out of place following such a solid batch of tunes before it, and “Minds of Steel” meanders for almost six minutes without much direction. “Boogeyman” is a bit of a hokey track, but the thrashy blasts interspersed throughout the tune re-energizes things and ropes you back in. The closing acoustic/vocal ballad “When the Rain” is a great track to exit the album with, showing a very different and welcomed side of the band. I’d love hear Shades of Sorrow stretch its legs into more broader territory like this on future releases; with a penchant already for writing catchy tunes, some more diversity could really launch things.

Minor trespasses aside, Shades of Sorrow delivers a worthy debut with DROPPING THE DEAD WEIGHT. I’m sure there’s a smartass comment in there somewhere about dead weight and the couple of “meh” tunes towards the end of the album, but overall I really enjoyed what the band has to offer. Where the album succeeds it does so in spades, and where it misses the mark it gives them room to grow. Check out Shades of Sorrow’s website for samples of the album, and then check out their Bandcamp page where DROPPING THE DEAD WEIGHT is currently available as a name your price download.
Track Listing

1. From the Ashes
2. Ray of Light
3. The Chosen
4. Web of Lies
5. Fallen Angel
6. On the Edge
7. Minds of Steel
8. Boogeyman
9. When the Rain


Julien Leblanc - Bass
Pascal Deslongchamps - Drums
Mike Taylor - Guitars
Jason Guerrette - Vocals

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» Dropping the Dead Weight
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

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