SHADOWDANCE – Future Negative Fantasy
- by Matt Coe
- Posted on 18-06-2012
11 years since their last album release with an EP in 2004 entitled “Another Look” to keep a name going in the marketplace- Philadelphia’s dark progressive/ power metal band Shadowdance return with this second full-length “Future Negative Fantasy”. Guitarist Carlos Alvarez handles the bulk of the songwriting, production, and additional keyboards- supplemented by vocalist George Eliassen, bassist Jason Fox, and two drummers with Jay Horvath handling six songs and Jason Fraticelli taking on the other four.
Much of this material has the roots of metal in mind, featuring blitzkrieg power riffs and soaring vocals to match. Artists like New Eden, Crescent Shield, Iced Earth and Onward come to mind when taking in such great material as “All Or Nothing”, “Walk With Fate” (including a guest keyboard solo from Amorphis’ Santeri Kallio) and the high energy, 7:50 title track closer that probably features Carlos’ best variety of riffing and tempo changes to date for Shadowdance. Lyrically matching the melancholic overtones with words on depressive, intense topics- the state of one’s mental health, looking back on life with regret, etc.- “Future Negative Fantasy” is not the record for those looking for uplifting, happy choruses or safe, predictable hooks.
Understand that Carlos needed to self-finance this release, so the lower production values shouldn’t mar your enjoyment of this album. I can see this going over very well in most traditionally minded parts of the world, those who look for deep power riffs, stellar soloing and incredible leather lung vocals. For now it’s a digital-only release, let’s hope some smart independent label signs Shadowdance soon.