NightShade: Lost in Motion

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NightShade: Lost in Motion
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NightShade: Lost in Motion
Deathcore, Electronica, Techno
Bullet Tooth Records
April 26th, 2011
Release length: 32:54
Myspace
NightShade is a band that many have never heard of, and are often grossly miscategorized. The band hails from France, and had actually formed back in 2005. They issued two EPs and a demo themselves, were signed to Rising Records for their full-length debut, The Beginning of Eradication, and then found a home with Bullet Tooth Records to issue their follow-up full-length recording Lost in Motion roughly three years later. The group is often found to be categorized as a Death Metal and Groove Metal act, but one listen to Lost in Motion will quickly shoot this down, as this French act is a combination of typical technical Death Metal with plenty of energy and voice box Electronica that is as bad as this combination just sounds.

Lost in Motion does manage to start off great though. “Unleash the Rage” is just an intense technical Deathcore track, the likes of which you’d expect from Whitechapel or Job for a Cowboy. However, the main element that this band really has going for them is that the music doesn’t sound dull or lifeless like some latter Job for a Cowboy releases, and often is full of energy and intensity, which is exactly what kick starts the album, preparing the listener through a want-to-be breakdown introduction that is heavy enough to make you want to run to the nearest living thing and bash it’s face in, and that carries over superbly into “Rebellion”, but this is where everything starts to go straight to hell. The song is intense and as much of a jay to listen to as it clearly was to record for the band with the sheer amount of energy in the recording. But then the breakdown happens, and it’s the most boring, open sounding breakdown you can come across in Deathcore, having a very hazy approach to it, though not to the point where it’s a cymbol snare every three seconds and a random chord every twenty seconds. Luckily it happens once, but this marks only a precurser to the most confusing elements of this recording.

“Winner (Or Not)” is an absolutely furious song, and it stands tall in the Deathcore field as what could easily be one of the most intense songs that the style could possibly produce. That is, until you reach the end. Much of the song will give you the urge to just destroy anything and anyone in your way or in the makeshift mosh you’re simply going to start where you stand once it comes on. But then, you reach the end, and the band greets you with an overly commercial melodic portion of the song that includes horrible Electronica distortion through a voice box digital alteration [note that I am not sure on the actual name or term for this, but it’s something that is common in Techno and in mainstream success with “artists” like Kanye West that makes the vocals sound more robotic when harmonized, jumping from one extreme to another] that has become all the rage in Pop and Rap songs with melody today, leaving you walking away with your metaphorical tail between your legs, head down ashamed, wondering what in the hell just happened. It’s the worst possibly mixture and it just simply does not work, clashing with one another horribly the second it begins. On top of that, the band includes random moments that sound like a digital glitch in the vocals. It appears in “Unleash the Rage”, as well as “Final Crop”, where the vocals skip, almost like an MP3 that is glitching due to too much being processed on a computer. It’s actually more infuriating then it is suiting, and just how random the vocal effect really is doesn’t help either, especially since this song is fantastic, heavy, and has two breakdowns, one that is well suiting to the song and will have your head banging regardless of your stance on them and Deathcore, and a slower paced closing breakdown similar to that in “Rebellion”, but it closes the song so it’s a little more understandable then being in the middle of the track for practically no reason.

But the thing is not all of these confusing elements are horrible or completely out of place. “The Depths of Memory” works the additional Electronica elements with keyboards that come off more like a brief Techno addition that becomes prominant, but quickly becomes a background element to the music and makes the already rather melodic song thanks to the chorus come off more in that vein with the same kind of intensity that kicked off the album early on. This also happens again early on in “You Can’t See Through My Eyes”, but this time it doesn’t really offer much at first until the Techno kicks in full force with the Electronica voice box kicking in, ultiamtely causing the song to sound like a jumbled, confused mess, even when the intense Deathcore kicks back in. The breakdowns on here also shine sometimes, mostly because of the Hardcore approach NightShade has with them, including gang chants and making many of them sound full and rich compared to a few of the lazy breakdowns that appear once in a while. “A Dream. A Choice. A War.” is a good example of this, as the track features a very intense breakdown, and as mentioned, there’s one in “Final Crop” that will have you headbanging in no time.

But, despite it’s flaws, the random Techno and Electronica voice box elements, the Deathcore itself is phenomenal. The music has so much energy and fury wrapped up into it that you can’t help but feel your blood begin to boil and have an urge to just start moshing, or even just start a fight. But, once all that awkward material kicks in and clashes with the intense metal, even the slower, empty, dead-air filled breakdowns that litter this album, it clashes and immediately ruins what intense flow existed. This is far from bad, and any self-respecting fan fo the Deathcore style will immediately be drawn to such a powerful and brutalizing album, but immediately turned off by the rest of the niche material that often just feels tacked on in order to make the band stand out more. This is well worth experiencing, but just know it’s a very, very bumpy road full of blissful brutality and shameful misdirect.

01. Unleash the Rage – 0:32
02. Rebellion – 5:08
03. Winner (Or Not) – 2:38
04. Lose Your Friends – 2:46
05. The Depths of Memory – 4:50
06. A Dream. A Choice. A War. – 2:56
07. Final Crop – 2:41
08. If You Don’t Have a Pawn in Your Game, You’re Guaranteed to Fail – 4:23
09. You Can’t See THrough My Eyes – 4:29
10. FoxHound – 2:31
Overall Score: 5.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Bullet Tooth Records.