Shadowborn – Eclipse(D) (Self-Released)Monday, 2nd November 2020
Previously encountering Shadowborn through their debut EP End of an Age in 2018, this western New York band return for another release with the follow-up Eclipse(D). Incorporating a wide array of influences across the melodic heavy metal spectrum, the quintet develops an interesting style that maintains diversity even in these small pockets of material – as we assess another four-song product. As a result, the interest level remains high even after multiple exposures, as you’ll tend to find something new to hang your ears upon.
The opener “Odyssey” for instance travels through segments of calm, piano/vocal lead distance and sharp twin-guitar simplified harmonies beyond the solid traditional riffs and in the pocket groove – melding together aspects of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, with the commanding, majestic range of Jesse Tyler Halstead penetrating the mix. The alternative aspects come out on “Blood Moon” – a shifting set of vocal melodies matching the riffs, giving off a mysterious vibe as the additional keyboard strains and calmer, clean guitar aspects certainly differ from the norm. The other two songs revisit older material from the musicians’ previous bands: “Stonewall” a song originally done by Age of Shadows, while “Speak” comes from HorseFace. The former has a stronger power metal foundation, featuring back and forth vocal lines with bassist Patches O’Brayer and a militant, rhythmic nature between the riffs and tempo, while the latter comes from a stoner/heavy platform, even as Jesse keeps his Matt Barlow meets Myles Kennedy-like delivery as the lower crunch and groove pour from your speakers.
Choosing to throw caution to the wind and record material that bridges their past with the present, Shadowborn deserves admiration for spreading their wings so to speak, even if it could cause certain people to flee because of a struggle to identify with the multi-genre hopping that takes place. This scribe finds the new songs a bit more memorable than the revisited ones – but the talent is still on high and could pay dividends with the follow-up recording.