Released: 2004, Red Candle Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
“All hail all metal for all time.” Such is the mantra printed on the CD tray of THE SCREAMING TO SURVIVE E.P., an all-too-brief foray into the world of veteran Pennsylvania-based melodic death quartet, Solace In The Shadows. Originally known as Armageddon, Solace In The Shadows have been tearing up the local Philly scene since 1995 and this latest teaser sees the band—newly signed to Red Candle Records—with a fresh line-up and they are ready to take on the world. There are hints of early Dark Tranquillity here as well as nods to more modern acts like Children of Bodom but the bottom line is that Solace In The Shadows bring a stronger drum sound to both of those bands while retaining their sharp melodies.
“The Faithful Undead” pays homage to the Scandinavian melodic death bands but adds a modern touch to the music. Vocalist John Sheldon is a dominating presence and nowhere more so than on this track. His piercing screams perfectly compliment the relentless drumbeats and galloping rhythmic guitars. “Begone!” is a real change of pace that kicks off with a groovy bassline and Sheldon uttering, “I don’t need no instructions to know how to rock.” Battaglia’s drums are just punishing on this track and the rhythm section gets its chance to shine during the intro and again during a short section at the 2:37 mark. The glorious riffing that made melodic death metal famous is in full effect on “Scream To Survive,” as Ryan Moll stamps this track with his signature. Battaglia’s double bass attack through this song is quite remarkable as well.
Though you wouldn’t know it from the stunning cover art, THE SCREAMING TO SURVIVE E.P. is an eighteen-minute trip through the peaks and valleys of melodic death metal. Paying homage to Dark Tranquillity, In Flames and the Gothenburg sound is a common practice due to those bands indelible influence, but in a sea of copycats, Solace In The Shadows rise to the top of the heap.
KILLER KUTS: “The Faithful Undead,” “Begone!,” “Scream To Survive”