Review: SHADOWDANCES “Misery Loves My Company” – a step away from metal
SHADOWDANCES is Lithuanian atmospheric metal community with relatively long history. At the beginning, as all metal bands of the early 90’, SHADOWDANCES tried out playing death-metal with different name. Fortunately, they’ve managed to shake off constrictive weight of death-metal to surrender more darker and melodic musical influences. At the result, SHADOWDANCES have become one of the most experimental, melodic and harmonious metal music performers in Baltic States. Until this I’ve managed to see them once in concert (first Metal Show Open Air in Latvia) and to listen very interesting conceptual EP “The Beauty and the Beast”. In this EP SHADOWDANCES offers romantic and dark interpretation of classic fairy tales theme combing metal, gothic and electronic elements. With similar hopes I turned to their new, long awaited and long produced album “Misery Loves My Company”.
Initially, album can fascinate with its high production quality. Indeed, this recording can claim for the best recording status in all Baltic and Eastern Europe just for its perfect quality of sound. About music – have to admit there is almost nothing left from metal and electronic predominates. Musical influences are obvious – latest creations of Anathema, elements of recent KATATONIA, and possible, partly form rather original project The Third and The Mortal (at least I heard some similarities in this album). All this is combined in romantic, melancholic and a bit apocalyptic musical vision. SHADOWDANCES has obviously endeavoured to present their music with possibly great diversity, wealth of melody and atmosphere, but, have to admit, overdone it a bit...
For every album there can be its dark sides. In the case of SHADOWDANCES it is number of tracks. If the medium length of song is 6 minutes, then there is no reason to bother listener with 13 songs. At the end it obtains to repetitions of themes and moods and with that comes fatigue and weariness. After listening of album, only several songs will remain in mind which will catch up with something special. All others are relatively spare. I would advise to confine to 9, maybe 10 compositions. For myself, I was impressed upon song Blossom, which together with several further compositions, shapes dark break in albums atmosphere. Three last compositions are rather spare they would fit as bonus tracks. As second minus can be mentioned: the too sweet tone here and there, which drags to mood of gothic-pop music and contrasts with misery that is mentioned in albums title. It can disturb to enjoy those compositions, which are emotionally heavier and describes that mentioned feel of misery.
There are no other considerable minuses for this album, so I would like to finish my review with a more positive note. SHADOWDANCES have stepped back from metal, but they’ve managed to create qualitative atmospheric album with excessive sentiment, but with gloomy compositions (Blossom, World Made of Nothing, Perhaps Some Day, Aura) it is possible to keep albums keynote in the minds of listener who is disposed on gloomy, not sentimental musical expressions. For all others - this album is melancholic and sentimental chill-out, with touch of metal and gothic reminiscences.
SHADOWDANCES “Misery Loves My Company” (2008)
01 I Crawl (06:34)
02 The Girl (05:08)
03 Autumn Haze (06:53)
04 And it Feels (03:26)
05 Cold Eyes And Lies (05:35)
06 Blossom (05:33)
07 World Made of Nothing (06:17)
08 Shy (05:28)
09 Perhaps Someday (06:51)
10 Aura (07:00)
11 Just Like Before (06:06)
12 Chasing Shadows Again (06:59)
13 When She Closed Her Eyes (The World Dissapeared) (04:18)