SHADOWSIDE – Inner Monster Out
This Brazilian female fronted melodic metal act pulled out all the stops on their third album “Inner Monster Out”. Realizing how important of a record this is in their career aspiration, vocalist Dani Nolden, guitarist Raphael Mattos, bassist Ricardo Piccoli and drummer Fabio Buitvidas who form Shadowside took their talent into Studio Fredman in Sweden with renowned metal producer Fredrik Nordström at the helm. The 11 songs on this record continue the heavy European traditional model from the previous album “Dare To Dream” with an even greater emphasis on delivering all the right hooks and harmonies, be it from the music or vocal side.
Songs like “Angel With Horns” have that power chug associated with current Mystic Prophecy in the guitar realm but Dani’s soaring range navigates up and down with the changing riff tide to make this an easy stand out. A surprising trio of vocalists lend their skills to the mysterious title track, as Björn Strid, Mikael Stanne, and Niklas Isfeldt all add their texture and talent to make this dark, mid-tempo arrangement that much more exciting and heavier for the listener to enjoy. “I’m Your Mind” has that thrash meets Benedictum overtone, with Fabio leaning on the ride cymbal like the best Dave Lombardo/Slayer days and Raphael putting a little giddy up in his picking parts. Overall there seems to be this overriding emphasis on all the songs having a precise point – nothing extraneous and tightly worked through so that Shadowside can take this material easily from the studio to stages across the globe.
I loved the slower chest stomping “A Smile Upon Death” that recalls the “Sounds Of White Noise” era Anthrax period and the opener “Gag Order” which has a floating repetitive guitar line that Powermad maniacs will love. It’s hard for me to find fault with anything on “Inner Monster Out” – this one should be in the hands of all European power, melodic metal mavens and possibly the older late 80’s thrash-leaning brigade.