|Hardcore, Melodic Death Metal, Metalcore
April 28th, 2014
Release length: 36:31
In the Shadow of the Colossus was recorded in many different studios, especially the guitars which were done in “various home studios” according to the press release. The drums were handled at Play Yard Studios, the vocals at Garageland Studios, and the album was mixed and mastered by Ronnie Bjornstrom (Aeon, Hate Ammo). This cluttered production schedule is a tactic that is being widely used today, and usually yields either great results, or disastrous ones. For this release, it does work to create a crisp, yet highly abrasive recording all around that often captures the Hardcore spirit more than anything on this widely mixed effort.
“This Blackened Sky” is a solid display of Hardcore hostility. The vocals are the band’s traditional raspy screaming, but some bridges find some additional gutterals that sound fantastic. The energy on display is what really sells the track, especially in the command grooves in some areas, reminiscent of the pure hatred you would find on a Carnal Forge album. That same kind of raw aggression can be felt throughout the release, but “Ten Thousand Dead” just carries a dismissive aggression to it that ends up moving into Punk territory laced with heavy groove littered passages that perfectly suit the group’s style.
“Bat Country” is a mixture of Hardcore aggression with standard Deathcore performances. Single note chugging chords and slight technicalitymake up the main foundation, while the chorus is met with simple melodies that act as a nice contrast. Meanwhile there’s “Dead Man’s Curse,” which relies largely on the melody in the chorus to get the point across. The breakdown has a good amount of complexity to the guitars to help crush your skull in, while the harmonization in the shouting vocals laced with depressing riffs make the chorus a little more moving than one might expect given the rather traditional Metalcore performance to the main verses. Sadly that latter note doesn’t always have the same impact.
“Our Last Breath” has a little more technicality at work, but the toned down nature finds some hollowness to the guitars that takes away from the sharper bite they typically carry. This is more the fault of the Melodic Death Metal touch to the group akin to mid-career At the Gates. Even the breakdown seems rather tame. “God of the Underworld” is much the same, though it has some Hardcore laced into the Lamb of God groove it often carries. While not bad when it picks up speed with blistering bass kicks, which is very rare, the performance itself just comes off like your typical Metalcore cut without the same passion.
With the exception of a few less hostile cuts towards the end, In the Shadow of the Colossus does live up to the words of Tintin quite well. This album captures a great deal of abrasive enthusiasm and raw hostility in almost every track, though its the group’s Hardcore roots that shine through the strongest. If you never heard of Pray for Locust before, which is expected if you’re not from their home country, then In the Shadow of the Colossus is an album you simply need to go out of your way to experience, as there’s no denying it’s only a matter of time before their skills break out of Sweden and assault the rest of the world.
01. Bat Country – 3:57
02. This Blackened Sky – 3:46
03. Dead Mans Curse – 4:02
04. Reap What You Sow – 3:43
05. Ten Thousand Dead – 3:23
06. Our Last Breath – 4:12
07. God of the Underworld – 2:43
08. Statement – 3:06
09. Bad Blood – 3:38
10. Heroin Eyes – 4:02
|Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10