Shadows Fall Fallout from the War

One of the bands leading the new wave of American metal, Shadows Fall offer up this last release for Century Media before they hop over to the majors for their next disc. And this is as good a good-bye as any, offering up a handful of songs that were kind of put together while the band recorded their last album, the somewhat disappointing The War Within. The songs sound like Shadows Fall, and it’s a sound that’s getting dangerously close to becoming too formulaic: melodic thrash metal with extremely memorable choruses. But there’s a nice ragged edge to these tunes, although the production is still too damn clean. Also included are some re-recorded versions of older tunes, including the incredible "Deadworld,” one of the band’s best songs. To round things off, the band crank out three covers: "Leeway,” "Only Living Witness,” and, of all things, "Dangerous Toys.” The Dangerous Toys cover is a rockin’ good time, even featuring guest vocals from Toys screamer Jason McMaster. All things told, a fun and rockin’ full-length EP, and one that shows hope for the band’s next release, recapturing a bit of the grit that got glossed over on the last disc. (Century Media)